Chapter 58 - The End
Time passed as Shen Yu’s heart rattled with emotions. Slowly, she managed to grasp all of her turbid feelings and reel them in. Now was not the time to let her heart overrule her head.
Outside of her room, the conversation continued. Shen Yu kept one ear cocked towards the door. Half of her mind made sure to process what she heard while the other half organized all of the information she obtained before today.
She more or less had the whole picture now. All it took was half of a map to turn her life upside down. Because the Desert Fox had tried to kidnap her, she had originally decided to believe that his entire story was made of lies. However, now she knew that the story he told her was true.
The Desert Fox had talked about the officer who had given him a second chance. That man’s wife was most likely Song Geng’s daughter. At the time, the Desert Fox had mentioned that he knew she was from an ethnic minority tribe, but he didn’t know which one. However, if you combined all of the facts that he did know: the silver bracelet, the wife’s mother dying, and the wife’s father being in prison; the sum of those fact seemed to point towards Song Geng’s daughter. The backgrounds of the two women were almost exactly the same, so they had to be the same person.
Shen Yu was uneasy to fully commit herself but she now had an idea who her real parents were. At least, she was about ninety percent sure.
Additionally, she now knew for certain who had desecrated Song Geng’s deceased wife’s grave in the Miao village. It had to be Uncle Wang. As for how he found out Shen Yu and the others were going to the village? That had to be the work of Yun Jin. She was Old Mr. Yun’s daughter and was also Uncle Wang’s lover. With that connection, it wasn’t surprising that Uncle Wang showed up in that village to search for the map.
Shen Yu also recalled that Tang Can had found a military-issued shovel on the night he tried to apprehend the thief in Song Geng’s house. Thinking about it made her frown for a moment. Then she realized that Uncle Wang likely had been enlisted in the army previously.
As she continued to eavesdrop on the conversation, Shen Bai said something that especially piqued her interest.
“That other half of the map really isn’t in my hands anymore. I gave it to Eagle. At the time he had agreed to use that part of the map to make an exchange and help me get my son back. However, it has been many years since I last had word from him. He’s most likely in the grave now. I bet Yun Zhuo was the one responsible for his disappearance! If Yun Zhuo doesn't have that half of the map, then you guys should go visit King Yama in hell and find Eagle for it!”
She felt like she had just been hit by another shock and her body trembled. She could remember that night, when she found the bird’s nest with the map and the piece of dog’s head gold…
When they were in the mountains, Old Li had told her something! The same Old Li who had tried to harm her had told her an important clue! He said that Blackie’s original master was a man called Eagle!
The young woman didn’t quite know how to feel at this point. The map that the people outside of the room had been frantically searching for had been inadvertently found by her! Unfortunately, she no longer knew where it was. It was lost to them forever.
Right when she was about to sigh with regret, she heard a bit of noise by the tiny window of her prison Curious beyond belief, she twisted around to look and saw a few people outside trying to pry the window open. Before she could shout for help, she saw a flashlight shine across a person’s face. That person was Tang Can himself!
Pure, ecstatic happiness poured through her body. Within seconds, the people outside were able to open the window. The young officer leaped in and helped Shen Yu untie her restraints. Outside, she could hear the sound of sirens screaming, followed by the noise of many people rushing into the building.
Shen Yu cried tears of happiness and wailed Tang Can’s name over and over as she flung herself into his arms. She had never expected Tang Can to be the one to rescue her from this place.
She later found out that Shen Bai and the others had all been caught. They were all restrained and brought out by the special forces.
Tang Can had stayed behind to comfort Shen Yu.
“It’s okay, it’s okay!” soothed the young officer. His voice was warm and soft.
Shen Yu continued to sob, heartbroken by all of the dirty secrets she had just overheard.
“Sweetheart, it’s okay! I’m here now!” Tang Can gently continued to comfort her.
Out of nowhere, Mazha suddenly appeared. “Enough of the sappy stuff! Let’s go back to the house first and then you guys can continue to coo as much as you want!”
“Get out of here!” snarled Tang Can. Mazha grumbled and resentfully left to give them space.
Shen Yu wanted to ask Tang Can why he had growled at the other man. But before she could open her mouth, she found herself already occupied.
Tang Can had kissed her!
Her mind went blank and she felt like she floating on cloud nine. Sweetness trickled into her, temporarily soothing away the hurts she had received earlier. For a moment, Shen Yu forgot everything that had happened and focused on the present.
Minutes passed before Tang Can released Shen Yu. When they went back on the road, Tang Can finally revealed the truth to her. Apparently, the Gold Discovery Armed Forces had never gone back into the desert. Instead, he and his group had hid themselves to wait for their trap to be sprung.
And that trap had been set long ago. Tang Can had laid the foundations for it on the first day he met Shen Yu.
The young officer had already knew Shen Bai’s true nature. He also knew that Shen Bai had been the one responsible for causing Tang Can’s father’s death. His father was a stellar commanding officer of the Gold Discovery Armed Forces - Yu Danqing! The reason why they never apprehended Shen Bai for his murder was because the affairs of the nation trumped the desires of an individual. They needed to find the lost map that lead them to the buried gold!
Finding out that she had been used by Tang Can this entire time proved to be a bitter pill for her to swallow. Shen Yu was angry and didn’t want to talk to him any longer.
Tang Can had predicted she would react this way, so he came prepared. Before he told her the truth, he made sure to kiss to her to assess her feelings.
“You shameless bastard!” yelled Shen Yu. She found it hard to believe that she had been a chess piece in his hand this whole time. It made her feel used.
“I know you hate me right now but it’s too late to cry over spilt milk. Won’t you give me a chance to make it up to you? Let me live the rest of my life to atone for my crimes to you!” The words that came out of his mouth on the surface sounded like he was admitting defeat, but in actuality, he had never let go of Shen Yu. Even when she bit him on the arm he still refused to let her go. Since she had already experienced this earlier, she knew the outcome already. So this time, she begrudgingly took the loss.
“I had half a piece of a map on me earlier, was it you who took it from me?” Shen Yu had long known that Tang Can was the one who stole the map away from her. However, she deliberately deceived herself and told herself that it wasn’t him. Now that she knew everything, she wanted to cry at how foolish she was earlier!
“Yes, it was me,” admitted Tang Can.
“I don’t want to see you anymore!” hollered Shen Yu in a loud voice, infuriated beyond belief. She used all of her strength to push the young man away from her but he kept a death grip on her and refused to budge.
“Like I said earlier, if you want to hate me, that’s fine! Just let me be by your side and atone for my crimes!” Tang Can had somehow pulled out a ring out of nowhere and, without explanation, put it on her ring finger on her left hand. He pulled Shen Yu tightly into his embrace and planted a passionate kiss on her lips.
Shen Yu felt her blood heat up. Time passed in that dreamy state until she slowly managed to calm herself down. Feelings of love could pull down all barriers and Shen Yu was not an exception to that fact!
At last, she got a good look at the jade ring on her finger. Panting with anger, she snapped at Tang Can, “Who the hell proposes marriage like this? Do you think you’re a dictator? That you can just pull whoever you want to marry into your car and then drive away?”
Tang Can laughed. “Who says I’m pulling you away? I think it’s the opposite. I’m trying to stick myself onto you so you can take me away! The ring on your hand is a priceless heirloom that has been passed down in my family for generations. I put that treasure in your hands, so you can take it and go wherever you wish!”
Shen Yu found herself stuck between feeling simultaneously exasperated yet tickled at the same time. The man in front of her was just too much sometimes!
The next day, she found herself curious as to what would happen to Shen Bai and Yun Jin. Even though they were criminals, they had been her adoptive parents for her whole life. They had truly showed love to her. To her, they were still her true parents, and she loved them despite their mistakes.
Tang Can had a solemn expression on his face when she asked him. He stayed silent for a moment before he answered, “In front of the law, all people are equal. I understand your feelings towards them, but you need to understand that people who commit wrongs must face the consequences of their own actions. Please prepare yourself for the worst. It’s entirely possible that in the future the only way you’ll meet them is behind bars. Shen Bai has an old criminal case and Yun Jin and Uncle Wang also committed crimes. A while ago, the local police back in your village finally discovered your Uncle Li’s real corpse. The body they buried earlier had also been exhumed and an autopsy was conducted. The results came back showed that it was actually Aunt Wang’s body that had been mistaken for your Uncle Li.”
Her heart sank after she realized the enormity of the situation. All of the events that happened before and after her Uncle Li’s disappearance had clicked together. At the time, none of it seemed linked but now she could see the truth in a glance. A price must always be paid, especially if there is murder involved. However, it was hard for her to reconcile her feelings. Despite Yun Jin’s faults, she had still been Shen Yu’s foster mom for more than twenty years and had treated Shen Yu well.
“There is one thing that I must tell you. It might help you feel a bit better!” Tang Can added as he gently patted her on the shoulder.
She raised her head to look at him. “What is it?”
“We know where Shen Bai’s son is now!”
“Eh? How did you find him?” Shen Yu asked, feeling pleasantly surprised.
“Think of it as you repaying Shen Bai for taking care of you for all of those years!” Tang Can said obliquely. Shen Yu felt confused and didn’t quite understand what he was trying to say.
The young officer continued, “Didn’t you ask me a while ago? About Mazha’s hometown? You had asked me if I knew what ‘rice sheep’ were. At that time, I had no idea, but later on I realized what it was! ‘Rice sheep’ are actually ‘ants’, the term ‘ants’ just sounds like ‘rice sheep’ when it’s said in a Shandong accent!”
At this point, Shen Yu truly felt some admiration towards Tang Can. She had merely shot him one sentence, and yet, he made sure to investigate it thoroughly. People had been dispatched by him to conduct a full inquiry into Mazha’s background. They not only found Mazha’s true background but also his involvement with Old Mr. Yun.
“Now, does Mazha know about this?” She knitted her eyebrows when she realized that Mazha had been Old Mr. Yun’s double agent in the Gold Discovery Armed Forces this entire time.
Tang Can shook his head. “No, I haven’t told him yet. There just hasn’t been the time to talk about these things.”
Seeing the disappointed expression on her face, Tang Can tried to comfort her, “It’s not that important, don’t worry! It’s not as if Mazha did anything truly bad. Old Mr. Yun was using him by pretending to be close with him. He didn’t know that the old geezer was planning on making him the fall guy. That old fox is only loyal to his blood family.”
Shen Yu immediately felt better. Shen Bai had been looking for his son all of these years and now he had a chance to see him, should Mazha decide to acknowledge the relationship.
She suddenly thought of another issue. Words hurriedly stumbled out of her mouth, “Then, what about Xiao Chen…”
Tang Can interrupted before she could finish, “I already knew. If it wasn’t for him, this play wouldn’t have finished so nicely.” The young officer nodded his head.
Although she already knew the truth, Shen Yu still looked like she had something more to say. Her mouth opened and then closed. Tang Can noticed that something was off with her and asked her what she wanted to say. She let out a small smile but didn’t say anything.
Actually, she wanted to tell him what the Desert Fox had told her all those days ago, that she might be Tang Can’s father’s, Yu Danqing, true daughter. Other than the old man, she was the only one who knew this fact. It also explained why her name was “Yu” as well…
The reason why she kept silent was because she didn’t want Tang Can to feel how she was feeling. He would have to acknowledge that the people he thought were his parents weren’t actually his biological parents. It would be a hard thing to swallow. Shen Yu didn’t want him to feel horrible too. Knowing the truth would only hurt him. Furthermore, her biological parents had already died, so it wasn’t like she could meet them now either.
All of the people who needed to be caught were now caught, but there was still one more person they needed to see. It was the person who had the other half of the map, but Tang Can and his group couldn’t do anything to that man. It was Old Mr. Yun. Not only the old geezer have powerful friends but he also didn’t do anything that broke the law. It didn’t matter that he was hiding something, no one could lawfully force him to let that piece of the map go.
The only thing that Tang Can could do was to continue to see Old Mr. Yun over and over again, and hope the old man would finally relent.
In the end, the old geezer finally offered a deal for his half of the map: release Yun Jin from prison.
But that was impossible!
The young officer felt as if he had met an impasse and was about to leave the negotiations again when his cell phone rang. He exchanged a look with Shen Yu, then walked out to take the call.
Shen Yu noticed that Old Mr. Yun’s teacup was almost empty, so she got up to fill it with more tea. While she was pouring the beverage, the old geezer inadvertently looked at her hand and noticed the jade ring on her finger. His eyes opened so wide that it looked like they could fall out his head at any time. Shocked, he looked at the young woman and, with a voice that trembled, said “That ring…”
Her first reaction was to think that the old geezer wanted it. She knew how greedy he was, but this ring was a symbol of her engagement to Tang Can, she couldn’t let him have it.
The old man mumbled, “That...ring...rii-....-ng…” He seemed to be a state of shock and couldn’t complete a full sentence.
“This is the engagement ring that Tang Can gave to me! I can’t give it to you!” The expression on his face frightened her to death. He can’t be THAT shameless, can he? What kind of low-life would want someone else’s engagement ring?
“Tang Can?” The old man exclaimed, his face warping with emotion. Tears formed at the corners of his eyes and his voice wavered, “Grandson...my grandson!”
Shen Yu was flabbergasted!
And that's the end! Thank you for reading!