Chapter 40 - Sister-in-Law
Mazha seemed to have something gloomy on his mind. He let out a long, heavy sigh and didn’t answer Zhang Fei’s question. Instead, he posed his own query, “You really can’t tell? Officer Tang has changed!”
Zhang Fei opened her eyes wide and a complicated look passed through them. She lowered her head, tightened her lips into a pout, and didn’t deign to reply. Mazha could hear the sound of her fist clenching and unclenching at the side.
At dawn, Zhang Fei finally fell asleep from exhaustion. Even in sleep, she would moan or sob occasionally.
Mazha shook his head and left her room. When he came out of the female soldier’s room, he coincidentally saw Tang Can coming out of Shen Yu’s room.
“Zhang Fei’s doing alright?” asked Tang Can, his voice dry and scratchy. The young officer quickly glanced at the female officer’s room.
Mazha smiled and said, “Officer Tang, do you no longer care about Zhang Fei anymore? Last night you were pretty cruel to her. I thought we were comrades who had experienced life and death scenarios together. Who could be more important to us than each other?”
Tang Can raised his head and looked at Mazha expressionlessly. Not a word was said in return. The young officer left Mazha alone in the hallway.
Mazha watched speechlessly as his commanding officer entered his own room. The male soldier let out another long sigh and went back to his assigned room to rest.
Although none of them had the habit of sleeping in, they all ended up sleeping until noon due to their lack of sleep the previous night. Sleeping so much had its benefits. They could skip breakfast and eat both breakfast and lunch together at once.
Mazha woke up the earliest. By the time Tang Can came down, Mazha had already finished eating.
Tang Can went to the cafeteria to order some food and then went back up to wake Shen Yu. When he opened her door, he found the young woman sitting lifelessly on the bed. Her eyes were red and swollen. Tracks of fresh tears lined her face.
Emotions always get the better of women, thought Tang Can. They’re all like Lin Daiyu from the Dream of the Red Chamber, always crying over something. He shook his head and sighed. As he tried to think of ways to comfort her, he suddenly saw that in her arms was a golden-colored fur pelt. He started at it in shock for a long time before he could find the words to say anything.
The fur pelt had to be from Wheaty! Tang Can recognized it came from the missing dog, even though he was not as familiar with the dog as Shen Yu was. Previously, Wheaty had been cut deeply on her back by Lao Li. After the wound healed, there was a long, ugly-looking scar leftover in the fur. The pelt had the same scar.
“Where did you find that?” aske Tang Can, his voice trembling. His first thought was that whoever had killed Wheaty had to be completely devoid of humanity. Not only did that person eat an animal that was loved by someone else, but that person also left the dog’s pelt where it could be found by the owner!
“It was left on the doorstep…” Shen Yu said as another bout of tears overtook her. She sobbed piteously, as if she was a little child who had gotten bullied.
The pelt in her hands had not been dried completely. A horrible stench wafted from it.
Ignoring Shen Yu’s protests, Tang Can snatched the fur from her and turned to walk out of the room. When she asked him where he was bringing the fur, Tang Can replied that he was going to bury it. As for where he would bury it, he would not say.
Zhang Fei was Wheaty’s murderer. That was a known fact to Shen Yu. The female soldier was now her archenemy.
Under the current circumstances, Tang Can could no longer let the female soldier stay in the group. He was pretty sure that Zhang Fei wasn’t the person responsible for Wheaty’s death. After all, the two of them had grew up and fought together. It was easy to tell a person’s true nature by how they fought. Although Zhang Fei had a dominating personality, she wasn’t a bad person at heart. However, it puzzled him that there was someone out there who would want to kill an innocent dog. What type of person was it?
When it was time for Zhang Fei to leave, the female soldier shot a splintering glare at Shen Yu. It was so full of hostility that the young woman felt her whole body itch and tremble.
Although Shen Yu heavily disliked the female soldier, she still came out to send Zhang Fei off. Surprisingly, Mazha was not there. Normally he was the one who defended and comforted the female soldier, but no one knew where he went. After Shen Yu looked for a while, she finally found him hiding behind some columns. Mazha was watching the rest of them in secret.
Tang Can reached out a hand to grab a suitcase from Zhang Fei’s grasp, but the female soldier refused to let go. In the end, she was unable to avoid his help. She twisted her face and let him take her luggage from her and place them into the waiting trunk. She gritted her teeth, lowered her head, and entered the car. The car started to move, but then suddenly stopped. Zhang Fei pushed the door open, ran out of the car to Tang Can’s side and started sobbing loudly. She sat on the ground next to the young officer and threw a tantrum like a toddler. Tears and streams of mucus flowed down her face.
Tang Can looked at her expressionately and didn’t say a word to comfort her. Finally, Zhang Fei went back into the car. Shen Yu observed the two with interest and noticed that although Tang Can acted tough, the red rims around his eyes betrayed his true emotions.
To everyone’s surprise, Shen Yu ran after the car. No one could tell what thoughts were running through the young woman’s mind, but the car had stopped to let the two women talk. After they finished talking, the car quickly came back. It stopped in front of Tang Can, and Zhang Fei hopped out with a smile on her face. The female soldier hugged Tang Can warmly.
At this point, Mazha finally appeared. He ran over to his two colleagues and embraced them in a giant bear hug, turning the group around in a circle. Finally, the three people turned to go back to the guesthouse.
“Thank you,” said Tang Can sincerely to Shen Yu.
An uncertain smile crossed the young woman’s face. She turned around and was startled by what she saw. A large car procession had just entered the courtyard.
When the cars finally stopped, a whole bunch of men in army uniforms came out of the vehicles.
Tang Can suddenly exclaimed, “My god!” and walked towards the team of people.
Shen Yu continued to stand in the same place. She could hear a gust of laughter coming from one of the cars. It sounded familiar, as if she had heard it before.
After thinking for a bit, she suddenly remembered where she had heard that laugh before. It was from that old man who had shouted in glee, “She is gold, gold!” when he saw her. It was that fiery tempered old man!
Now they’re going to sell me off! Shen Yu thought as she shuddered inwardly.
“Grandpa, why did you come here?” asked Tang Can, his voice full of surprise.
The old man hollered, “If I didn't come, by the time you found that gold mine, I’d probably be dead! They’d be burying my bones already!” Tang Can’s grandfather's voice was so loud that an echo could be heard in the yard.
At this point, a group of soldiers came out to greet the hot-tempered old man. “Welcome, senior officer!” they greeted in chorus and then escorted him into the guesthouse.
Shen Yu had never knew that rank that the old man held. Of course, she had figured out earlier that he was Tang Can’s grandfather.
For the next couple of days, Tang Can accompanied his grandfather. Zhang Fei had finally found her sponsor. She orbited around Grandfather Tang and they seemed to be closer than blood relatives.
Shen Yu was ignored by the others. Previously, Grandpa Tang had fought through his heart problems to see her. Now, she was no longer the favorite. Bored out of her mind and left to her own devices, Shen Yu went to burn some time in the large courtyard. She let her rich, dark hair fall free to her shoulders. Strands of her hair danced in the light breeze.
“This female soldier is quite beautiful!” exclaimed an army officer in his thirties as he stood in the doorway of the lobby. He pointed a hand at her in awe.
The guard next to him glanced at Shen Yu and said, “She should be a part of the civilian division! I’m not sure which office she’s from. Did you want me to go over and ask her?”
“No need, no need. She is a part of my team. You can call her Reporter Shen.” Neither of the soldiers knew when Tang Can appeared. The young officer had his trademark smile on his face.
The other officer immediately smiled, “Perfect timing, Officer Tang! Can you call her over and introduce me to her?”
Tang Can grinned and nodded his head. “Alright, I’d be happy to introduce you to your future sister-in-law!”
“What?” The other officer looked incredulously at Tang Can, his eyes wide with surprise.
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