Chapter 37 - Getting Injured
Tang Can stayed silent as they left the house where the two siblings lived. He was clearly deep in thought.
Commander Jin and the branch secretary had finally come back to the village. When they arrived, the branch secretary’s wife immediately told her husband what had transpired while they were gone. As soon as he found out what happened, the man became angry and almost lost his temper. He ran to the town hall to summon the villagers.The horn souded for a long time.
Shen Yu didn’t care to find out what the branch secretary was planning to do with the townspeople. Since Commander Jin and Xiao Qiu had come back, she thought that they could finally leave this village. Security issues and other problems were no longer within their scope to control or investigate.
The others talked for almost half a day. Shen Yu had thought they were communicating that they were going to leave the village, but, in the end, she found out that was not to be the case. Tang Can had to translate and explain to her what they had decided.
“We can’t leave right now, not after what happened,” he said quietly. “Since Song Geng’s grave got defiled, we need to make sure things settle down before we leave.”
Since Tang Can and the others had already agreed on this course of action, she couldn’t reject their consensus. That evening, things became rowdy at the branch secretary’s house. Commander Jin had reported the desecration of Song Geng’s grave to the local police. Not only did the local police come, but the deputy district chief and someone from the district army also came along. They all treated Tang Can with trepidation and respect. Shen Yu watched the scene with wry amusement. She suddenly felt like she was watching a scene from the imperial times. Tang Can was the Imperial Chancellor making his rounds and inspections, and the other people were the local officials bowing and scraping before him.
It was within Tang Can’s expectations that the district office got notified.. Although he didn’t want make such a fuss about things, the events had already gone out of his control. Even though the crime got reported, they were still unable to catch the grave robbers. In fact, the police came with so many other people that the whole fiasco had become an unholy mess. Tang Can felt like his head was about to explode. He started to regret meddling with this village’s doings.
The most important factor was that all of the clues had been destroyed in this crime. The villagers had trampled all over the scene of the crime, so the police were unable to extract anything useful.
The only valuable piece of information that came from this whole investigation was something that the experienced detective deduced. From his experience, grave robbers were never people from the villages themselves. In fact, judging from the tools used in this crime, it looked like the criminals responsible for this desecration were professionals.
After hearing the old detective speak, Tang Can and Commander Jin exchanged a look. It was hard to say if they were on the same page, but afterwards, the two of them talked privately to each other.
Shen Yu felt like her presence was unnecessary throughout all of these proceedings. The branch secretary had initially asked his wife to take care of Shen Yu. Unfortunately, neither of them spoke the same dialect, so they simply sat together with awkward smiles on their faces. After sitting for a while, Shen Yy’s smile had been frozen on her face.
Time passed and the evening had arrived. The branch secretary's two children were making a lot of noise and havoc. Their mother yelled at them and ordered them to go to sleep. When that proved fruitless, the branch secretary’s wife then grabbed a broom and started chasing them around the room. The room quickly exploded into chaos again.
Shem Ui couldn’t sit any longer with nothing to do. It felt like she had a lump underneath her throat. Without a word to anyone, she slipped out of the living room with a flashlight in her hand. Before long, she was out of the house.
Without any hesitation, she walked down a street that lead her south of the branch secretary’s house. After making a couple of turns, she was in the outskirts of town, where Song Geng’s old house was located.
Shen Yu looked at the ruined house and tried to recall where she had fallen that morning. She had fallen on glass earlier and she could still recall how it felt when it cut into her. It was pitch-black outside and in the dark, it was difficult to see things. The ruins that seemed so straightforward in the day had turned into a maze at night. The light from her flashlight didn’t do much to help her pick out specific objects.
Luckily, the house wasn’t big. and the villagers had stopped taking it apart when the accident had happened. After the grave robbing incident, no one else had come to this area. Shen Yu walked around the site a couple of times and used her feet to kick aside bits of broken glass. She bent over and picked up a wooden stick. Using the stick, she sorted through the ruins and yellowing photos slowly came out from the dirt.
She could feel her heart pounding heavily as she squatted down to pick up the photos. Each photo was inspected individually, but she could’t find the image that had scared her so much that previous morning. Before she could search more, she heard Tang Can in the distance hollering her name.
She quickly threw the pictures down on the ground frantically to hide what she was doing. She threw fistfulls of dirt on them to cover them up again. In her haste, her left hand accidentally brushed against a piece of broken glass and a cut opened up. She ignored the pain and continued to work quickly. By the time Tang Can came over, she was holding her hand carefully as she stepped out of the ruins in a couple of steps.
“Why did you come here?” asked Tang Can, full of worry. He looked disheveled, as if he had run all over the place looking for her.
Shen Yu’s finger on her left hand pulsed with pain. The injury had to be of a decent size but she gritted her teeth and tried to endure it. “I was bored so I wanted to walk around a bit.”
Tang Can didn’t try to lecture her, “In the future, if you want to walk around, give me a holler first! I’m afraid you’ll run into trouble by yourself.”
Without knowing why, Shen Yu felt her heart tremble slightly, as if something had slipped in. In the darkness, she stared at Tang Can for a bit before finally lowering her head. Her cheeks felt hot and red.
Tang Can reached out to grab her hand, as if in habit. He managed to hold onto her injured left hand. Involuntarily, Shen Yu squirmed out his hold and yelped in pain. It hurt so much that she could feel cold sweat dripping down her forehead.
“What wrong?” asked Tang Can, his voice full of concern. He used a flashlight to inspect her hand. When he saw the long, jagged cut on her middle finger he tsked in sympathy. The light also showed shards of broken glass in her wounds. Seeing her injured again made his heart twist in pain.
When they got back to the branch secretary’s home, Tang Can asked the man’s wife if she had any sewing needles and candles. The plump women quickly came back with the items that he requested. Using the needle, the young officer carefully picked out the small pieces of glass out of her finger. Shen Yu tried to writhe away from him at first, the pain from the pricking needle was agonizing, but he grabbed onto her wrist with force and dragged her hand down. No matter how much she yelped in pain, Tang Can kept her in his iron grip as he methodically picked out all of the glass from her hands. Picking out the debris was just the first step for him. He then grabbed some alcohol and poured it onto her wounds to disinfect them. Shen Yu almost jumped through the roof when it touched her. She screeched, “Oh my god that hurts so much!”
Tang Can held her wrist with a vice-like grip and calmly used a clean cloth to bind her injury closed.
“It hurts…” sobbed Shen Yu pitifully. She cried like a child and clear mucus dribbled out of her nose.
Tang Can let out a long sigh as he slowly relaxed his frown. He smiled and tried to comfort her, “It’s okay, be good, it’ll only hurt a little more!”
He wiped away her tears and snot with a clean handkerchief. Afterwards, he gently pulled her into his embrace.
Muffled laughter came through the nearby window, but only Tang Can heard it. He raised his eyes to look at the window. Immediately, he could hear the sounds of someone scampering away.
When he was sure that the person spying on them had left, Tang Can started to get ready to leave the room. He planned on having Shen Yu rest in the room for a little bit. He bent down his head to look at her one last time. Under the bright, yellow incandescent lamp, Shen Yu looked delicate and soft. Her eyebrows curved as gracefully as the ones found in paintings and her neck looked tender and white. Entranced, he stared at her for a bit before he came back to himself. It felt like he had just received a full body shock and his chest felt heavy, as if there was something stuck there…
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