Chapter 36 - To Save Someone
Tang Can also recognized the little girl. He hesitated at first before rapidly calming down. Pretending to not see the child, he motioned to Shen Yu, instructing her to hide in the grass. If they were able to dodge the villagers, that would be best. If they weren’t, then he would have to use force to protect himself and Shen Yu. At this point, that was all he could do. Fear and hesitation would only be hindrances right now.
The little girl had also noticed to the two of them. At first, she froze in fear. Shen Yu could see the frightened expression on the child’s face. Surprisingly, the girl didn’t do anything. She continued to cut the grass in front of her like nothing had happened. The only thing that betrayed her emotions was that her speed in harvesting grass increased perceptibly. Her bamboo basket filled very quickly and the pile of grass formed a little mound.
The little girl raised her arm to wipe the sweat on her forehead and settled the basket full of grass on her back. Slowly, she climbed up the steep incline. When she reached the top, she didn’t walk far. Instead, she set the basket down on the ground and started cutting grass in the surrounding area.
Anxiety and nervousness swirled around in Shen Yu. She was afraid that the little girl would betray them to the angry villagers. If the mob caught them, they would be eaten whole! Who knew what a group of infuriated people could do to them?
However, Shen Yu knew that it was futile to be scared in this situation. The only thing she could do is plan and hope for the future. Hopefully she could think of something to do should the people find them.
Tang Can used one hand to grip her hand and the other he placed over her, like a protective wing. Their eyes met briefly as they strained their ears to hear what the villagers were doing.
From the sounds of their footsteps, the angry mob was very close to them. She could hear someone asking the little girl but she couldn’t hear the child replying. A couple of minutes later, the sounds of people arguing appeared and then many footsteps pounded away from them.
That little girl didn’t rat us out? Shen Yu couldn’t believe that was what happened, but in a little bit, she found it to be true. When they decided it was safe for them to leave, they climbed out of their hiding spot. By the time they reached solid ground again, the little girl had already left. They could see her in the distance walking slowly with the basket on her back.
Shen Yu sighed heavily in relief. Cold sweat soaked her clothes entirely and they clung clammily to her skin. It was an uncomfortable feeling, to say the least.
After their near-miss with the angry mob, neither of them felt it was safe for them to go back to the village. However, the villagers were searching in the rice paddy fields, so they couldn’t stay here either. By following the trees that lined the edge of the village, they were able to travel from the eastern part of town to the western border. This side had a bunch of small ponds linked together by channels. The water was bordered by tall growing reeds and she could see there were small boats at the edges. Tang Can hollered at her, telling her to go into one of them.
Shen Yu had grown up on a farmland in the northern plains, but it wasn’t as if she had never encountered pools of water. As a child, she had learned how to doggy paddle in the pond behind her house. However, this would be the first time she had ever went on a small boat. Foolishly she had thought that stepping on a boat would be as steady as stepping on the ground. Unfortunately, as soon as she stepped on, the boat lurched in the water. She screeched in terror and used her arms to hug Tang Can’s waist to catch her balance.
When she finally calmed down, she was dismayed to find that she had clutched onto him that tightly. To make things worse, Tang Can was observing her quietly, his eyes bright with amusement and some other emotion. Shen Yu could feel her face instantly flush red. In an attempt to get out of this situation, she hurriedly released her death grip on the young officer. Her movement caused the boat to rock again and she quickly grabbed onto Tang Can’s arm.
Tang Can smiled at her. “Sit down slowly and don’t make any jerky movements. I’ll maneuver the boat into the reeds over there and they will provider some cover for us. We should be safe for now.” He helped her slowly sit down on the boat and then he sat at the stern of the craft. Using the oars beside him, he slowly rowed the boat across the pond.
No reeds grew in the middle of the pond, but they flourished on the banks. At this time of year, the reeds were covered with green leaves and grew to be about half a man’s height. They were more than tall enough to hide a couple of people.
When he found a clump of greenery that would be able to hide both the boat and them, Tang Can stopped the boat from moving and let the anchor down. The boat swayed gently with the waves from the pond. The rocking motion made her feel dizzy and she could feel sleepiness creeping in on her. She was not only a little bit seasick but was also tired from the previous night.
The young officer soon noticed her sleepy state. He smiled and said, “Your body really is much too weak! In the future, we will have to toughen it up a bit!”
Shen Yu glared at him slightly but didn’t say a word. Suddenly, they heard a weak cry for help. Both of them raised their head to look in the direction of the noise. Not far from them, they could see a small black thing bobbing in the water.
“Oh no! Someone is drowning there! Stay in the boat and don’t move! I’m going into the water to save them!” Tang Can barked as quickly stripped off his shoes and outer jacket. Plop! He jumped into the water.
Shen Yu wanted to follow him to help but she hesitated. With her skills, she wasn’t sure whether she’d be a hindrance or of any help to Tang Can. If it was the former, she would only make his work harder. She reluctantly decided to stay in the boat.
Tang Can cut through the water like a professional swimmer, and made it across to the drowning person with good speed. He quickly hauled the person up and pulled as he swam back to the boat.
After a closer look, Shen Yu realized that the person he had saved was the little boy from yesterday! It was the same little boy who she had given the hard boiled eggs to and was brother to the little girl they saw earlier!
Tang Can managed to save the little boy shortly after he fell in, so the child was out of immediate danger. The boy choked and coughed up the water he had inadvertently swallowed earlier. His eyes were wide with shock as he heavily breathed air into his lungs. It took awhile for the boy to calm down and relax after being rescued.
The child looked gratefully at Tang Can and said a couple of things. Shen Yu sighed inwardly. She really had difficulty understanding the local dialect, so once again, she didn’t know what the boy had said.
She could guess that the boy was telling Tang Can how he fell into the water. Her eyes were sharp and quickly noticed that the child’s left foot was injured. It looked like there was a very deep wound in the foot but she wasn’t sure what had caused it.
Tang Can didn’t bother to explain what the boy had told him. He merely told her to sit steadily in the boat and started to row the boat to shore.
They reached the shore shortly thereafter. When all of them were on solid ground again, Tang Can pulled his clothes and shoes back on. After he finished dressing himself, he told Shen Yu that the little boy they rescued said that his family had invited them over to stay for a bit. She looked at him with a funny look on her face. She knew that he knew what had happened before with the two siblings, he was there! It would be hard for her to forget what the little girl had said regarding Song Geng’s death.
Earlier, the older sister of the little boy had regarded them with hostility. Now that they had saved her younger brother, she was no longer as cautious around them.
The house that the two siblings lived in was a very plain and humble looking place. Inside the house also lived their grandfather who was paralyzed. The elderly man was laying on the sofa when the group came in. In an effort to be polite, Shen Yu tried to greet their grandfather when she first entered the house. But the old man merely smiled at her deliriously and didn’t say anything. He had a dull, lifeless look in his eyes as well.
Tang Can had a better idea of their circumstances. He managed to obtain a decent amount of information from the two children. Apparently, their grandfather was not right in the head and was a simpleton. After learning that information, Shen Yu no longer tried to interact with the old man.
After talking to the two children, Tang Can evidently obtained more information. However, he didn’t explain anything to Shen Yu before he took a call from Commander Jin on his cell phone. Shen Yu could see that he was hiding something, as his eyes were as dark and fathomless as the ocean. She had a feeling that if she was not careful, the secrets in those eyes would drown her!
Shen Yu frowned deeply. Just what did he find out from those kids? It doesn’t seem good from the look on his face.
Sorry about late post, I didn't schedule it correctly last night!Previous Chapter Next Chapter