Chapter 313 - Follow up a Victory with Hot Pursuit

Yu Xiaocao took out a little bottle and dripped a drop of mystic-stone water into a bowl of water. She said to Sun Yaoyang, "I've studied medicine before; if you trust me, you need to drink this. It will benefit your body!" 

Partly because he was also thirsty, Sun Yaoyang downed the water without hesitation.

Yu Xiaocao used the last bits of water in the bowl to clean the wound on his wrist. After that, she dripped the mystic-stone water on the wound and told Little Shitou to tear two pieces of cloth from Sun Yaoyang’s underclothes to bandage the wound. 

Sun Yaoyang moved his wrist and gasped in surprise, “It doesn’t hurt anymore! You’re so skillful!” 

Little Shitou proudly replied, “Of course, do you know whose second sister she is? My second sister is so amazing she even helped treat the royal prince! She made the medicine in the bottle herself and she even knows how to craft pesticide that can kill locusts!” 

Sun Yaoyang looked at Yu Xiaocao in surprise, “So the pesticide for locusts were made by your family! During fall, we also bought some and managed to cultivate a batch of fall vegetables. Otherwise, we wouldn’t have any vegetables to eat this winter!” 

Yu Xiaocao told her younger brother to support the fellow so he could sit with his back to the wall, and then whispered, “Now is not the time to speak of such things. Commander Sun has already come up with a rescue plan, so all we need to do is to wait for the bad guys to come back to strike!” 

Sun Yaoyang’s face brightened with glee, and he murmured, “I got it, you must have intentionally gotten yourself caught to become an inside agent, right? You’re amazing! But aren’t you afraid? I was quite afraid when I initially got here. However, my father said, the more scared I am, the more I shouldn’t express it, and the more I should overcome my fears to calm down, only then will I be able to think of a countermeasure! Too bad my dagger was taken away by the bad guys, or else I would’ve escaped a long time ago.” 

“Even if you pried the window open, you wouldn’t necessarily be able to escape either!” Little Shitou slowly analyzed for him, “Firstly, you’re unfamiliar with your surroundings. Even if you got out, you wouldn’t know where to run, and it’s easy to run into a dead end. Secondly, those child traffickers will definitely have their eyes and ears nearby—you might be discovered the moment you stepped out of here!” 

Hearing his words, Sun Yaoyang lowered his head and said, “Now that I’ve heard this, I suddenly feel like I’m quite stupid. I’ve exposed myself too early and caused my dagger to be confiscated. Ay...I’ve gratuitously suffered for an entire afternoon!” 

The chubby boy squeezed over while they were talking and complained, “When are the authorities coming to rescue us? I’m about to die of hunger. Could it be that those bad people want us to faint from hunger so that they would even be able to save on chloroform?” 

The three of them exchanged glances, and then Yu Xiaocao sighed, “The local authorities probably won’t come, I hadn’t been able to report to them before I got caught.” 

With a look of despair, the chubby boy exclaimed, “What? Doesn’t this mean that no one is coming to rescue us? We’d be sold into prostitution to sell our butts, wahhh...I don’t want to! Father, Mother——” 

The others, who strained their ears to listen in, also anguished when they heard the chubby boy’s cries. Yu Xiaocao thought: ‘Now this is better!’ Fortunately, the two people before didn’t notice, or else all the children here would’ve been exposed earlier. Why would a group of children, who got kidnapped, not panic or get upset, but were filled with hope instead? If she didn’t lie and tell them that there was no rescue, the child traffickers would definitely be able to detect the incongruity when they returned! 

It wasn’t known which child started it, but slowly, the cries merged together. The chubby boy cried for a while before turning to Yu Xiaocao, “Big sister, did you bring anything to eat? My father said, even in death we must be a satisfied ghost! Oh, right, I’m called Li Xiaohu. My father runs an armed escort organization in the capital. Nanping Village is our hometown—we came back to worship our ancestors.” 

So this little boy’s father was a martial artist, no wonder he talked with the righteousness of a hero. Yu Xiaocao took out a small bag of jerky and shared among them. The situation could change at any moment--she could at least ensure that they would have the energy to react if they ate. 

One by one, the child traffickers returned as the sky turned dark. Boss Yin did a headcount and, after realizing two of his subordinates were missing, he turned his questioning gaze towards the rest of his brothers. Old Fifth’s face crumpled, “Wild Boar and Leopard were unlucky. They were discovered just as they took action, and the patrolling bailiff was just nearby, so they got caught red-handed!” 

Boss Yin paused in his movements and his face darkened, turning to address his brothers, “We shouldn’t stay here for long, let’s relocate immediately!” 

Old Fifth worriedly replied, “But it has only just turned dark, not to mention we’re also bringing children along with us, so we’re more likely to attract other people’s attention with so many people! The bailiffs on the street haven’t even left yet!” 

Boss Yin said to ‘Scholar’, “Go and check if the horse carriage is here. Knock the children out and place them in chests; we’ll act as bodyguards escorting cargo. We’ll be safe once we’re out of the town gates. There’s definitely risks, but if we keep waiting, I’m afraid sooner or later Wild Boar will give in to the yamen’s torture and sell us out…” 

Since they already made the decision to relocate, Monkey brought a few of the brothers to chase the group of children out of the room. They shouted and shoved at them as though they were herding goats. There were a total of 28 children, consisting of both boys and girls. 

Seeing that they would be immediately brought away, the unpredictable future and the possibility that they would never be able to see their parents again made the children wail. Monkey was afraid that their wails would alert the neighboring residents, so he strangled one of the children who cried the loudest, menacingly frightening them, “Shut up! I will strangle anyone who cries!” 

The child in his hands had already been strangled until his face turned blue and his eyes rolled back. The other children were so afraid that they covered their own mouths, shedding silent tears. Monkey grinned with satisfaction and dropped the child. He couldn’t really strangle him to death—a child could sell from ten to a few dozen taels! 

Boss Yin glanced at him and said, “At midnight, a buyer will be waiting nearby the port. Our mission is to bring the ‘goods’ to the port, so be on high alert. Whether we can get through this year prosperously will depend on this deal!” 

Yu Xiaocao had already gotten a rough understanding of the number of child traffickers from the children, so she carefully hid among the children and did a headcount. Subconsciously, she furrowed her brows when she noticed that ‘Scholar’, who had caught her, was missing. They had to arrest all of these child traffickers in one attempt, or else it would bring danger to her family! 

However, Boss Yin ran his gaze over his subordinates and ordered, “What are you waiting for? Get to work!”

Monkey and a few other child traffickers used the handkerchiefs in their hands to cover the mouths and noses of a few children nearby, causing them to fall to the ground unconscious. 

Yu Xiaocao grew increasingly distressed as the number of unconscious children continued to increase although ‘Scholar’ still had yet to return. What to do? What to do?? If she were to send the signal now, she was afraid that ‘Scholar’ might be able to escape from arrest. But if she didn’t send the signal now, she would be knocked out very quickly! 

Fortunately, she and Little Shitou were at the far back of the group of children. The children at the front put up a struggle and disturbed Monkey in his work, which was able to buy her some time. But even then, the number of unconscious children kept increasing, and there were fewer and fewer children who were standing... 

When there were only six children left, ‘Scholar’ returned from the outside and said to Boss Yin, “We’re set! Everything is prepared, we can start loading the ‘cargo’!” 

The other child traffickers bent down to pick up the unconscious children and prepared to put them into chests. At this moment, the dirty handkerchief in Monkey’s hand moved towards Yu Xiaocao... 

Yu Xiaocao whispered to the children by her side, “At the count of three, squat down. One…” 

“Two…” 

“Three!” 

At the instance she counted to the number ‘three’, Yu Xiaocao triggered the signal in her hands. It was like a firework that shot up into the sky, emitting a sharp whistling noise. Yu Xiaocao, along with Little Shitou, Sun Yaoyang and Little Fatty, who were by her side, immediately squatted down and hugged their heads. 

“Crap!” Boss Yin felt that something was wrong and immediately threw aside the child in his hands. He drew out the blade at his waist and blocked a flying arrow that flew in his direction. 

The others weren’t as lucky as him. The first ones to go were Monkey and the four other traffickers, who were walking towards Yu Xiaocao the other children. Arrows penetrated their chests and warm blood splattered on Yu Xiaocao and the children’s faces. They were still children, after all, so they naturally trembled in fright and their faces paled when they witnessed the death of another person first-hand, especially upon seeing Monkey’s bulging eyes. The chubby boy hugged Little Shitou and hid his face in the embrace like a frightened quail. 

The arrows continued to storm, and more and more child traffickers were felled. Boss Yin pulled one of the traffickers from his side to block an arrow headed his way. The arrow shot through his chest, and even until his last breath, he still stared disbelievingly at Boss Yin. 

The cunning and ruthless Boss Yin, along with Old Fifth and ‘Scholar’, retreated into the house. Out of 18 brothers, only the three of them were left. Old Fifth ran a hand over his face, wiping his face with blood. “Boss, what do we do?” He shouted in despair. 

“Block the door! ‘Scholar’, see if the alley behind the house is safe!” Boss Yin panted, and it was clear that he was filled with fear. 

‘Scholar’ opened the window and carefully peered outside. His face paled visibly as he said, “Boss, there’s an ambush at the back too! It’s the people from the yamen!” 

Boss Yin shut his eyes, and then opened them fiercely, “Luckily, I’ve prepared an escape route! Follow me!” 

At the same time, some of the criminals in the courtyard died from the arrow storm, while the rest surrendered. Commander Sun glanced at his son, then commanded his subordinates to break open the doors to the courtyard. 

Old Fifth took out a bow from the house, held it in his hand, and said to Boss Yin with fierce determination, “Boss, you go! I will hold them down! Damn it! Even if I die, I will drag some of them down with me!” 

Boss Yin looked at him solemnly, and then said, “Old Fifth, I will avenge you!”

He brought ‘Scholar’ into the inner room and removed the mat on the kang bed along with a layer of wooden planks, revealing a dark tunnel underneath. Boss Yin entered the tunnel first, and ‘Scholar’ followed suit.

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Myst's Thoughts

Translator: Vera