Li Zhuang understood what his father meant and went up to the guard. “Officer, please let your men be gentle while they’re searching. Though our family is poor, we can’t bear to see our belongings get ransacked either.”
“What are you saying, Li Zhuang!” The village chief shouted at him before smiling at the guard. “Officer, this is Li Zhuang. Don’t mind him. His mother died of a type of disease that can be passed down through the family. He’s poor, so there’s probably nothing in his house. You might want to just check it quickly.”
An idea struck Li Zhuang immediately when he heard the village chief mention his mother. “My dad and I miss my mother a lot, so we still keep her belongings with us. All of that is in the room on the left.”
“What? Aren’t you afraid that her belongings might carry germs that can cause the disease?!” One of the girls in the village shot a sideways glance at Li Zhuang as she commented in disbelief.
Li Zhuang turned to her and thought, She has a good body, but she isn’t as pretty as that other girl! I can’t let the officers go in there. I have to marry that girl!
The leader of the soldiers then said, “Enough talk. Have you seen a lady with impeccable looks dressed in a red outfit?” They were not allowed to say that it was Princess Consort Hao for fear of causing mass public disruption.
Su Xi-er was the person Pei Qianhao treasured the most, and Pei Qianhao was a key figurehead of Beimin. If news of Princess Consort Hao’s disappearance was made public, it would also lead people to assume that Prince Hao had met a formidable opponent. Doing so was equivalent to sowing uncertainty and dissent among Beimin’s own citizens!
Old Woodcutter Li swallowed his saliva in fear and walked up to his son, tugging at him.
Li Zhuang turned to him and said, “Dad, are you feeling unwell again? I’ll take you back home.”
The village girl who spoke earlier then made another snide comment, “Go back quickly. I think your dad might be afflicted with your mum’s disease.”
Li Zhuang nodded at the leader of the soldiers before supporting his father and making their way back home.
The soldiers started their search at the farthest ends of the village, so the houses in the center would be the last to be checked. All he had to do to prevent Su Xi-er from being found was to rush back home and let his father ‘take a rest’ on the bed while he pushed Su Xi-er to the other side.
The soldiers would think that there was no one else there but his father. This way, he would still be able to take that girl as his wife!
However, the soldiers seemed to have already completed their search when he arrived back home. We might be too late. The girl is going to be found!
The soldiers looked at one another and said, “This is the last house, and there’s nothing of interest inside. Let’s continue in the next village.”
Li Zhuang watched them leave and smiled at his father. The girl wasn’t found!
However, Su Xi-er was gone when he entered the room!Previous Chapter Next Chapter