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“What’s the matter? You left in such a hurry. Yo, why are you crying!” Li Changfeng was washing his hands by the well when he saw Xu Qing walking in quickly holding the crying Tuan Tuan.
Xu Qing let Li Changfeng take over Tuan Tuan and coax him. “When I came back from picking up Tuan Tuan, I saw a sneaky figure at the fork in the road. As soon as I made a sound, He ran away in a hurry and disappeared. I had Tuan Tuan with me, so I didn’t chase him. The figure of that person looked familiar to me, but I couldn’t remember who it was. “
Li Changfeng comforted the sobbing Tuan Tuan and patted him gently. Upon hearing Xu Qing’s words, he pondered for a moment and said, “It’s probably some guy peeping at my wife. Don’t worry about it. The food is ready, let’s eat.”
Xu Qing nodded, but he felt that something was wrong in his heart, and he couldn’t help but become more suspicious.
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In the following days, Xu Qing always took Tuan Tuan to the fields with him and didn’t send him to Xie Ama’s house. He had heard about child traffickers in the past who kidnapped children, and even though this was ancient times, it was still better to be cautious.
As expected, Xu Qing’s intuition was right. Several days after he saw the figure, Xia Ama from the village head’s family came to their house looking haggard. Looking at Xu Qing and Li Changfeng, he spoke hesitantly and didn’t make his intentions clear for a long time.
“Xia Ama, if you have something to say, just say it. We don’t know what you are trying to say if don’t say it clearly,” Xu Qing couldn’t stand Xia Ama’s dawdling and asked directly.
Xiamma felt extremely uncomfortable and anxious when he heard Xu Qing’s words. He wanted to speak out quickly, but this was related to the reputation of his own son.
“Right, if you have anything to say, just go ahead and say it, whatever we can do to help you, we’ll do it.” Li Changfeng couldn’t bear it any longer. Although their relationship with the village head family had improved after opening the grocery store, it was still a distant one. Li Changfeng couldn’t think of any reason why Xia Ama would suddenly come to them.
“I’m not going to beat around the bush. I just want to ask… ” Xia Ama stopped again when he saw the helpless looks on Xu Qing and Li Changfeng’s faces. He plucked up the courage and ask, “Have you seen or met my son Xia Yu?”
He finished speaking and looked at Xu Qing and Li Changfeng expectantly.
Xu Qing and Li Changfeng exchanged a glance and shook their heads. Xu Qing had never met Xia Yu before, and as for Li Changfeng, he couldn’t even remember what Xia Yu looked like. He didn’t know that the crying boy he met at the crossroads last time was Xia Yu.
Seeing Xu Qing and Li Changfeng both shaking their heads, Xia Ama’s last hope was dashed. Xia Yu had been missing from home for two days now. Two days ago, Xia Ama noticed that Xia Yu seemed to have something on his mind, so he inquired, but Xia Yu was particularly agitated and said nothing. But after that day, Xia Yu never came back home.
The village head family secretly inquired everywhere, but they did not find Xia Yu’s whereabouts. Xia Ama then thought of Xu Qing’s home on the back mountain, so he hurried over, only to get another disappointing result. Xia Ama couldn’t help but cry when he thought about his good son who had disappeared.
“Xia Ama, please stop crying. Can you tell us what happened?” Li Changfeng didn’t understand why Xia Ama started crying all of a sudden and asked directly.
Xu Qing took out a handkerchief and handed it to Xia Ama. Hearing Li Changfeng’s words, he pulled at his sleeve and turned to Xia Ama with a serious expression, “Xia Ama, no matter what the matter is, if we, ordinary people, can’t solve it, we can only go to the government for help. If it drags on for too long, it won’t be good for anyone, right?”
“The government?” Xia Ama heard Xu Qing’s words and a glimmer of hope ignited in his heart. He quickly said goodbye to Xu Qing and Li Changfeng and headed towards the village. However, shortly after leaving the Xu family, he stopped in his tracks.
If the government found his son and he was with a man, wouldn’t his son’s reputation be ruined? No, he had to wait a little longer. His son would definitely come home. Yes, he had to wait a little longer.
Meanwhile, Xu Qing and Li Changfeng were silently facing each other in the courtyard. Xu Qing thought that Li Changfeng sometimes lacked common sense, recalling the words he had said to Xia Ama. On the other hand, Li Changfeng, under Xu Qing’s gaze, felt like he had said something wrong, but also felt like he hadn’t.
“You shouldn’t have kept pressing Xia Ama for more information earlier. He already said it was about news of Xia Yu. That means Xia Yu might not be home, and Xia Yu is an unmarried ger. If we say he’s missing, it could affect his reputation,” Xu Qing had been in this world for a while and knew that the people here valued their reputation greatly.
“I see. That explains why he looked like he wanted to say something but was hesitant,” Li Changfeng said thoughtfully. “But since you said earlier that if someone is missing, and we can’t find them, we should seek the help of the government, then everything should be fine.”
In order to keep his own family’s secrets from being exposed, Xia Ama waited at home, believing that Xia Yu would eventually return, but it had been almost five days and Xia Yu was still missing. This caused the village head family to panic and forget about wanting to save face, so they rushed to the town overnight and reported to the officials. When Xu Qing heard that village head family had only just now reported the case to the officials, he couldn’t quite understand. However, Xia Yu’s disappearance reminded Xu Qing of the figure he had seen at the crossroads that day, and he couldn’t shake the feeling that the two incidents were related.
After the report was made, the officials came to the village to investigate the situation, which was normal at first. However, one official refused to leave the Xie family’s house and insisted on taking Uncle Xie back for interrogation. This caused a big commotion, and Xu Qing and Li Changfeng hurried over to the Xie family’s house.
“I just feel like you’re guilty of something! I want to take you back for questioning, what’s wrong with that? If you’re really not guilty, then you should come with me!”
The speaker was a sharp-faced, narrow-eyed man wearing an official’s uniform.
“Zhu Ping! Don’t slander people, you’re just trying to settle a personal grudge with me over Ma Fugui’s business! What haven’t I seen in my old age? I know exactly what you’re up to!” Uncle Xie was so angry that he shouted loudly and argued with the official named Zhu Ping.
“That’s right! Our family is not to be trifled with!” Xie Ama also refused to be outdone.
“What’s going on here?” Li Changfeng’s tall figure stood next to Xie Ama and Uncle Xie, as if he wanted to protect the Xie family.
Zhu Ping saw Li Changfeng’s tall figure, and then compared it with his own thin body. Although he felt a little scared in his heart, when he saw Li Changfeng’s coarse clothes made of rough fabric, he felt that this was just a peasant, and his heart relaxed a bit.
“Who are you? Can’t you see that I am on official duty?” Zhu Ping asked, while puffing out his chest and pointing to the badge on his chest as if expecting respect from Li Changfeng.
Li Changfeng sneered, “Official? I have never seen such an oppressive official!”
“You!” Zhu Ping didn’t expect Li Changfeng to be so disrespectful and was about to teach him a lesson, but caught a glimpse of Li Changfeng’s clenched fist and swallowed his words.
“I won’t argue with you!” Zhu Ping then turned to Uncle Xie, “You better come with me quietly, or else you’ll regret it!”
Xu Qing couldn’t bear to hear this and stepped forward to confront Zhu Ping, “On what grounds do you suspect Uncle Xie? Are you accusing just anyone because you think you can?”
Xu Qing then looked around at the villagers who had gathered, “If this is how you conduct official business, then are you going to accuse everyone in our village just because you don’t like them?”
The villagers started to stir at Xu Qing’s words. They already thought that this official was unreliable, and Uncle Xie’s family had never committed any crimes and had always been friendly with the villagers.
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“Yeah, yeah, how can you say that without any evidence!” Someone from the Wu family rushed over and immediately said.
“Yeah, exactly! Hey, You all heard that, right? The Xie’s family said that this official is seeking revenge for personal grievances!” Someone from the Sun family also joined in the fun.
“I see…” As soon as the villagers heard this, they became very happy with Zhu Ping’s deeds. What they hated most was seeking revenge for personal grievances, especially when it was an official oppressing them, the common people!
“What do you mean? Are you trying to rebel!” Zhu Ping saw the villagers slowly approaching him, his hands and feet trembling, and he pretended to shout.
“What’s going on? Xiaozhu, didn’t I tell you to inspect this area?” A strong voice interrupted. Everyone looked over and saw a few officials, followed by the village head’s family. The person who just spoke was the tall official standing in the front.
“Chief, it’s nothing, nothing.” Zhu Ping saw the official and smiled awkwardly, waving his hand quickly. He just thought that his cousin Ma Fugui’s current situation was too pitiful. He happened to see Xie’s family today and wanted to vent. If the chief knew his thoughts, he would be skinned alive.
“How can it be nothing! Weren’t you just saying that my husband is the suspect? How come you changed your tune so quickly!” Xie Ama wasn’t someone so easy to bully. If it weren’t for this person, his son Xiao Yu wouldn’t have been forced to divorce so easily! Although the divorce turned out to be a great thing, it brought happiness to his son, but one thing was one thing. He hadn’t yet gone to find this person surnamed Zhu to settle the scores, but this person came to find him!
Thingyan: So, it was Xia Yu??? I translate as I read, so I have no idea.