“What’s going on?” The leader of the officials furrowed his brow. Although Zhu Ping usually worked hard, he was quite good at getting into trouble.
Xie Ama described the whole incident without exaggerating or minimizing anything.
The village head’s family, who was following the officials, also felt that something was wrong with this matter, and their gaze towards Zhu Ping changed a bit. The village head knew that Zhu Ping and the Xie Yu’s ex-husband were cousins, and he was afraid that Zhu Ping was deliberately causing trouble for the Xie’s family by taking advantage of this matter.
However, Xia Ama, whose eyes were swollen, seemed to see hope and ruhed out to grab Uncle Xie excitedly.
“Uncle Xie, did you really see my Xia Yu?”
Uncle Xie was suddenly grabbed by Xia Ama, and he was taken aback. His first reaction was not to answer Xia Ama, but to reflexively look at Xie Ama next to him, who had yet to respond. Xie Ama, being looked at by Uncle Xie, immediately stepped forward and pulled Xia Ama away. “I really didn’t see anything. If me or my husband had seen him, why wouldn’t we tell others about it? We both have children, we would definitely speak out because of our conscience!”
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Village head understood the relationship between Zhu Ping and the Xie family, but he still didn’t understand the ins and outs of the exact situation.
He bowed to the official, “I apologize for my family’s impatience and lack of discretion,” then he pulled Xia Ama’s sleeve and brought him back to where the rest of the family members were standing.
“Don’t be anxious, calm down a bit!”
Xia Ama looked at village head for a moment, but eventually lowered him head and made a gesture of disapproval towards the head officer.
The head official shook his head and waved his hands, his expression turned serious.
“This fellow villager! This is because of our lax discipline, please forgive us,” the head official was clever and upon seeing Zhu Ping’s guilty face and the way these people spoke, he knew there was something strange going on. So, he first apologized to the Xie family, then turned to the village head’s family and said, “We will definitely investigate the matter regarding your son thoroughly.”
With that, he led his subordinates and left in a grandiose manner.
Uncle Xie rubbed his head and watched their backs, muttering to himself, “How come this official is so polite?”
Village head overheard it and put on a forced smile. “His family is also considered a scholarly family, so naturally his way of speaking is different from us common folks.”
“Is that so? Haha, I see. Luckily that kid, Zhu Ping, was smart enough. If he had kept pestering, I, Old Xie, wouldn’t have been so polite!”
“Exactly! We can’t be polite! We farmers can’t just be scapegoated and take the blame!” With the conversation flowing, Uncle Xie went back inside and started to talk loudly.
Seeing that there was no further issue, Xu Qing and Li Changfeng bid farewell to the old Xie couple and went back home.
“Can you believe it? That official and his cronies were all talk.” Xu Qing understood the situation and knew that the matter was resolved since nothing happened, and both parties didn’t need to get too involved.
“I just don’t understand. How could the government hired such a useless person?” Li Changfeng was naturally referring to Zhu Ping.
“If you could understand, you would be the official!” Xu Qing picked up him son Tuan Tuan and wiped his face, but Tuan Tuan grabbed his finger and put it in his mouth. Tuan Tuan was teething and liked to bite things these days.
Li Changfeng saw Tuan Tuan’s actions and quickly took out something for him to bite, which he usually used to relieve Tuan Tuan’s teething. Although Tuan Tuan was young, he could bite hard and it hurt.
“I can’t be an official, I don’t even know many big characters. But I can’t be one doesn’t mean our Tuan Tuan can’t be, right, Tuan Tuan?” Tuan Tuan didn’t respond to Li Changfeng’s words and continued to focus on his vigorous chewing.
“I don’t want him to be an official either. I just want him to be an upright person,” said Xu Qing as he kissed the chubby Tuan Tuan and handed him over to Li Changfeng. He was preparing to go cut some pig feed. Winter was coming, and they couldn’t afford to let the pigs go hungry or they would be too thin to slaughter later.
“I think Tuan Tuan is a bit lonely on his own, don’t you think?” Li Changfeng suddenly said as he held Tuan Tuan.
Xu Qing froze at his words and turned around. “What do you mean?”
“I mean what you’re thinking. I feel like something’s going on with your body,” Li Changfeng said with a cryptic tone.
“I’m not sure…” Xu Qing felt inexplicably nervous.
“Then let’s go to the clinic this afternoon and see,” Li Changfeng refused to let Xu Qing off the hook.
Xu Qing looked at Tuan Tuan in Li Changfeng’s arms and reluctantly agreed.
When they arrived at the clinic, Lin Fangliang checked Xu Qing’s pulse and exclaimed, “Congratulations, Second brother Li! You have good news!”
Li Changfeng grinned, and Xu Qing realized he was indeed pregnant with their second child.
Just to be safe, Li Changfeng got some medicine to help with the pregnancy and bought some big bones to make soup for Xu Qing, just like he used to.
After they left the clinic, Xu Qing always felt like someone was following them while walking on the street. The cautiousness developed in the apocalyptic world had not completely disappeared; it was just buried deep inside him.
Intentionally, Xu Qing dragged Li Changfeng and walked around in circles, confusing the person who was following them. Afterward, he pulled the puzzled Li Changfeng to the side and whispered, “Someone is following us.”
Li Changfeng was taken aback and cautiously looked around. He indeed saw a man wearing a large straw hat searching for their trail. His wife had noticed something that he himself had missed. A flicker of contemplation flashed in Li Changfeng’s eyes.
“It’s him! The man I saw at the fork that day!” Xu Qing recalled when he saw the person wearing the straw hat.
Li Changfeng turned his head and looked closely. “If I’m not mistaken, it’s Qiu Da!”
“Qiu Da?!” Qiu Da was the man who had an affair with Luo Jiao and was expelled from the village by the village head. Xu Qing had almost forgotten about him.
“Maybe his involvement has something to do with Xia Yu’s disappearance!” Afterall, he was kicked out of the village by the village head, so it was possible that Qiu Da had harbored a grudge and deliberately kidnapped Xia Yu to take revenge on the village head.
As soon as Xu Qing thought of this possibility, he felt Xia Yu’s situation might not be good.
“I don’t think it’s right,” Li Changfeng turned his head and said, “If it was really Qiu Da, then he wouldn’t dare to follow us so blatantly! Isn’t that just throwing himself into a trap? Besides, what’s the point of following us?”
“This…” Xu Qing couldn’t figure out what was going on. When Qiu Da disappeared, he had already forgotten about him. After they found that Qiu Da was no longer in sight, they continued on their way. Fortunately, Tuan Tuan was asleep; otherwise, it would have been a waste of effort if the child had made a sound.
“Let’s go home first. Don’t think too much about it now. You have to pay attention to the baby in your belly,” Li Changfeng didn’t want Xu Qing to think too much. This matter was not related to them.
As soon as he heard about the baby, Xu Qing touched his belly. Although he knew he shouldn’t think too much during pregnancy, he felt uneasy not knowing why they were being followed in the first place.
At night, Xu Qing still couldn’t sleep and kept tossing and turning.
Li Changfeng was quite helpless, “Do you think you have a magic weapon on your body, so I can’t touch you and you’re full of energy?”
“No, no,” Xu Qing quickly clarified. He knew that Li Changfeng was a sly guy, and if he admitted to having such thoughts, he would surely face retribution. “I’m just worried that something might happen to Xia Yu.”
If Xia Yu was really in the hands of Qiu Da, and Xu Qing had suspicions but did not take action to help, he would be causing an innocent person to suffer.
Li Changfeng hugged Xu Qing, who was in a dilemma. “Your curiosity is too strong.”
Curiosity is too strong… Xu Qing’s pupils shrank deeply upon hearing this. Yes, curiosity is not a good thing. In the apocalypse, curiosity could kill a person, or even a whole team…
What’s wrong with him? Has he forgotten all the survival skills he learned from living an easy life for too long?
After a while, Xu Qing finally spoke from Li Changfeng’s embrace.
“You’re right. let’s just live our own lives,” said Xu Qing.
Li Changfeng was taken aback. This didn’t sound like something his softhearted wife would say. He looked down and saw that Xu Qing had closed his eyes, as if he was asleep. Knowing that he didn’t want to talk anymore, Li Changfeng didn’t press anymore and just held his wife tighter.
It’s not that Li Changfeng was being heartless, he just didn’t want to make reckless efforts and have to deal with the unforeseeable trouble for others. He was selfish like that.
Since Xu Qing said those words last night, Li Changfeng had noticed that his wife had changed somewhat. He even ate some food on the table that he didn’t like before without complaint. Li Changfeng should have been pleased, but when he saw Xu Qing’s expression, he couldn’t find himself to be happy.
Xu Qing ate the vegetables he didn’t like before with a grateful expression on him face. These were green vegetables that were impossible to come by in the apocalypse! Why didn’t he like them before? Had he really changed? He had to reflect on this deeply.
Li Changfeng: ………What’s wrong with my wife?”
As they were drinking the bone soup, Li Changfeng watched as Xu Qing drank it slowly, as if afraid of finishing it.
Xu Qing was drinking the bone soup that he had gotten tired of before, feeling guilty and remorseful. This was bone soup, after all! Meat soup! How could he have gotten tired of it? If it were in the apocalypse, he would be happy just to smell it and be on the verge of ecstasy.
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Li Changfeng said, “Wife, there’s a whole pot of it in the kitchen. Don’t drink it so cautiously.”
For a whole day, every time they ate, it was like a feast or famine for Xu Qing, which made Li Changfeng unable to hold it in any longer.
“What’s wrong with you?” he asked.
“What’s wrong with me?”
Xu Qing was eating the bowl of ice powder with great relish. He really cherished it because he was pregnant now, and he could only eat half a bowl of ice powder a day, whereas he used to eat two bowls a day before.
“You’re eating so cautiously but still saying everything’s fine? I’ve never seen you act like this before. Are you still holding a grudge against me?”
Thingyan: I really thought it was anyone except that person. I completely forgot that cannon fodder even existed.