Chapter 20 - Self-Destroying Family Matters

Chapter 20 Self-Destroying Family Matters

“Hao Jimeng, it’s not that we don’t want to give you time, but you owe us too much money this time. It’s 200 taels of silver. It’s already very good of us to let you delay for more than half a month. You have to give us an explanation.”

The leader was a burly man with small eyes. He wore a green robe that was popular among scholars and looked a little strange.

Hao Jimeng pointed at Hao Jiyong and said, “My big brother will give you an explanation. Ask him to mortgage something for you, or ask him to pay you an interest first. Give me a few more days. My big brother has hidden money.”

“What do you say, Brother Hao Jiyong?” the green-robed man asked.

“200 taels of silver!” Hao Jiyong took a deep breath. “Our family won’t be able to earn so much money even if we don’t eat or drink for 10 or 20 years. How can I afford it?”

“There’s nothing I can do about this. Besides, I’ve only heard of the principle of paying a father’s debt, but I’ve never heard of the principle of paying a brother’s debt. I can’t do anything about it this time.”

“You cannot do anything about it!”

As soon as Hao Jiyong finished speaking, Hao Jimeng couldn’t help but shout, “Don’t you have a lot of money hidden away? Even if you don’t have this money, you can still dig for ten-year-old ginseng. Can’t you just dig a few more?”

“After my parents died, my eldest brother was like my father. My matters are your matters. You should help me pay back this money. Do you want to watch me die? Hao Jiyong, you’re so vicious!”

Hao Jiyong’s expression changed. He looked at Hao Jimeng and said, “Do you think it’s so easy to find a ten-year-old ginseng? Besides, let me tell you something. I didn’t take any of the herbs in the warehouse of Chaoyun Manor. If I did, I wouldn’t have taken the risk to dig for herbs at night.”

“And so what if I have to watch you die? Didn’t you want my family to die this morning? I’ve helped you so much over the years. Is this how you repay our family?”

Seeing Hao Jiyong’s determined attitude, Hao Jimeng’s expression changed. He suddenly knelt in front of Hao Jiyong and said, “Brother, what happened this morning was all my fault. Didn’t they force me to do something so irrational?”

“Please forgive me this time on account that I’m your younger brother. Please help me again. Otherwise, they will definitely kill me. There are only two brothers in our family. We don’t even have sisters. After Father and Mother left, I have always treated you as my parent. Please give me another chance.”

“Besides, I’m already so old but I don’t even have a wife and children. The reason why I went gambling is because I want to make a fortune and live a good life. That way, I can get married and have children. Isn’t this what you’ve always expected of me? If I’m killed by them this time, how can I fulfill your wish?”

Seeing that his previous method was useless, Hao Jimeng immediately changed tactics for the sake of his life.

Hao Jiyong’s wife looked worried, clearly afraid that Hao Jiyong would soften.

Song Ankang frowned slightly and watched all of this calmly. The maidservant beside him, Qiu Shi, couldn’t help but clench her fists. “Hao Jimeng is really shameless. If he can’t use force, he’ll use force. If Hao Jiyong is really soft-hearted, I’m afraid it’ll be over. Moreover, this will implicate Young Master. Everyone will be even more suspicious that he stole the herbs in the storeroom.”

Everyone’s eyes were on Hao Jiyong. Even though everyone around could tell that Hao Jimeng was scheming, it was really difficult to make a rational decision in the middle of a situation, especially for Hao Jiyong, who had truly fulfilled his duty as an elder brother over the years.

And what the others didn’t know was that this was the first time Hao Jimeng had softened Hao Jiyong to this extent.

In Hao Jimeng’s opinion, since he had already knelt down, Hao Jiyong would definitely not refuse. Furthermore, he still had a trump card. “Big Brother, please help me again. If you help me this time, I will definitely change my ways. I will never gamble again and will definitely listen to you. I will do whatever you ask me to do. I will definitely work hard. I will be a good person. Please agree.”

Hearing Hao Jimeng’s words, Hao Jiyong’s wife became even more worried. She couldn’t help but hug her children tightly and look at Hao Jiyong nervously.

Because she knew very well that Hao Jiyong’s decision would determine the future and fate of their family, even their life and death. But it was difficult for Hao Jiyong to give up his only brother, Hao Jimeng, just like that. In Hao Jiyong’s wife’s opinion, Hao Jimeng’s actions should work. Some people who knew Hao Jiyong could not help but shake their heads and sigh.

“Hao Jiyong’s life is over. He’ll definitely be dragged to death by his bastard brother.”

“Hao Jimeng has mentioned quitting gambling many times, but when has he ever done it?”

“As long as Hao Jiyong agrees, it means that he’s confident in helping Hao Jimeng repay this money. 200 taels of silver. Unless he stole the precious herbs in the warehouse, Hao Jiyong definitely won’t be able to take it out.”

“When Hao Jiyong agrees, we’ll immediately capture him and torture him. We can’t let the new owner mess around this time. Otherwise, if Hao Jiyong really sells those precious herbs successfully, many of us will die this year. If we capture Hao Jiyong, we’ll at most be beaten up. It’s better than our entire family starving to death.”

Because of Hao Jimeng, the situation had fallen into an extremely delicate situation. If Hao Jiyong did not handle it well, not only would his family be in trouble, but Song Ankang would also be implicated.

At that time, his reputation in Chaoyun Manor would definitely be greatly damaged. He might even be reported to the higher-ups of the family and be punished, even if there was still no conclusive evidence to prove that Hao Jiyong was behind the warehouse theft.

However, it was clear that there was a good chance Hao Jiyong would agree at the moment.

It was just that no one expected Hao Jimeng to bow down to him for the first time in his life. Hao Jiyong’s expression fluctuated for a moment before he slowly shook his head. “Hao Jimeng, it’s not that I don’t want to help you, but I’m really helpless.”

“I really can’t take out 200 taels of silver. I’ve already risked my life to get that ten-year-old ginseng. It’s almost impossible to get a second one.”

“Besides, in order to pay the interest on the gambling debt a few days ago, in addition to the ten-year-old ginseng, our entire family’s savings were lost. Now, our family doesn’t even have a copper coin left. How can we take out the money?”

“Then you can promise Ning Men that you’ll help me pay this money back and find a way to raise the money, just like you did a few times before,” Hao Jimeng said loudly.

Hao Jiyong shook his head. “It’s too much. I can’t afford it, and neither can our family. I’ve helped you enough over the years. I can’t help you now.”

“I was selfish before, even when you refused to change your ways. I can’t be selfish now. I have a wife and children. If I agree, I’m afraid our lives will be over. We might not even survive this winter.”

With that, Hao Jiyong turned and walked away. Hao Jimeng, Hao Jiyong finally made the right decision for once with regards to his younger brother.