Chapter 10: Why do you only care about Brother Fu?
She first went to the house closest to the old lady’s and after walking for a few minutes, she reached it and looked inside through the fence.
A woman half-draped in indigo fabric came out of the house with a bamboo winnowing basket, to let it dry out in the sun.
A few hens were clicking around her, waiting to be fed, and the woman went inside again to take out some grains before scattering them on the ground.
Bai Qingqing stood outside for a while; there were no signs of a man and she couldn’t help but think this village was as odd as it had been described in the novel.
The woman realized someone was there and shouted in a fierce tone: “Who’s there? What are you sneaking around here for? Come out!”
Bai Qingqing left her corner and stood up.
She wore a lovely and harmless expression and smiled: “Auntie, I am new to the village and I wanted to ask you something.”
The middle-aged woman frowned and sized her up with wary eyes before asking from the other side of the fence: “What do you want?”
Fortunately, Zhou villagers’ dialect was similar to the official language, and even mixed with their accent, it was not too difficult to understand.
“Auntie, I am looking for someone named Awang.”
The woman’s expression instantly changed, both and her face becoming even fiercer.
She put her hands on her hips and said: “What do you want from my man?”
The woman was in her 40s or 50s and if this Awang was her husband, he was most likely not the mission’s target.
Bai Qingqing noticed this aunt looked at her as a little vixen and quickly waved her hands to defend herself: “I am probably mistaken.
The person I am looking for is in his twenties.”
Only then did the woman’s expression relax and she walked towards her, still looking at her up and down.
“Little girl, it’s not that I don’t want to help you but girls can’t go looking for men.
Don’t you know this is a sin?”
Bai Qingqing: “…” Since when looking for a man was corrupt?
“I…” She tried to speak.
The woman’s eyebrows twisted and just like a teacher, she scolded: “Little girl, don’t interrupt when your elders are talking.
And as a woman, you shouldn’t dress in fancy clothes, you should wear plain ones.
This aunt is saying that for your own good, hurry up and get changed.”
Bai Qingqing had not expected she would get reprimanded head-on.
She laughed twice, turned around, and left.
The original novel had described the world from the perspective of the heroine Bai Tiantian.
After the Thunder Squad had come to Zhou village, they had been served with food and water, just as the villagers were trying to keep her as some sort of holy maiden.
Bai Tiantian had not suffered much there yet had been forced to marry the mountain god before being successfully rescued by her team.
Unfortunately, everyone had been injured beforehand and she could not have gone by herself.
Bai Qingqing could feel there were a lot of secrets here.
In a village with a population of several hundred, she had seen almost nobody, even in broad daylight.
Only a few older women were at home and some men with knives were patrolling at the entrance and exit.
The original novel had said the villagers hardly went out; men, women, and children, old and young, all of them did farm work at home to support themselves, and would occasionally go to a town about ten kilometers away to sell things in exchange for daily necessities.
Where had all the young men, women, and children gone? Were they staying inside because the end had come? Bai Qingqing was puzzled and she wanted to finish this side mission fast to quickly get out of this deserted village.
She didn’t have much power right now, if she were to encounter danger, she was afraid she would get stuck.
She picked up her pace and hurried to the next house on the list.
She stepped up the wooden ladder, walked to the closed door, and raised her hand to knock.
“Is anyone home?”
As she waited for an answer, she looked around.
She had to admit that the scenery of Zhou village, with its beautiful mountains and clear water, was very pleasing.
Every family had plants and flowers decorating its courtyard; people would feel carefree and relaxed just observing it.
After knocking for a few minutes, no one answered.
She was about to give up when a dog ran from the back of the house, scaring her.
Bai Qingqing stared at the yellow dog and beckoned to it.
“Big Yellow, come here.”
The dog hadn’t expected this situation and crooked its head to look at her, whimpers coming from its throat, trying to decide whether she was an intruder or not.
Bai Qingqing took a chicken leg from her space and squatted down before stretching out her hand.
“Big Yellow, be a good boy, and come eat the chicken.”
The fragrance of the food was overflowing and the dog drooled.
It ran over, its tail wiggling, and as it was going to grab the chicken, it disappeared under its nose.
The dog was stunned and barked, as if announcing its disbelief and begging for its food back.
Bai Qingqing squinted her eyes slightly, an evil grin on her face, and stroked the dog’s head.
“Where are your owners? Where did they go? Tell me and I will give you the chicken, otherwise I will chop and cook you.”
Had the dog been human, its mind would have probably shattered in an instant: how could such a wicked woman exist?
“Let go of Xiaohua!” A child’s voice was heard.
Bai Qingqing looked at where it came from; a child was lying at the window, baring his teeth to her.
It was the first time Bai Qingqing had seen a child in this village and she was surprised to run into him in this house.
Her eyes slightly shone and she kept on stroking Big Yellow’s head.
“Child, come out to chat with big sister.” She took out a bag of potato chips from her space, “I will give you something to eat.”
The child was full of caution and suspicion.
He bit his lips and stared at the snacks before saying: “I don’t want it.”
Oh, a little obstinate.
Bai Qingqing opened the bag of chips and started to eat, feeding some to Big Yellow.
The smell and the crunch tempted the child’s gluttony belly.
He gulped and stared at her.
Bai Qingqing noticed his salivating look.
She got up, walked to the window, and stuffed the bag of potato chips through the gap.
“Here you go.”
The kid was somewhat surprised by her kindness and as he held a barbecue-flavored chip, he asked: “Can I really have it?”
“Don’t you want it?” Bai Qingqing raised her eyebrows, “then give it back to me.”
The child hugged the bag tightly in his arms, shaking his head.
“I want it!” And as if he hadn’t eaten for a long time, he wolfed it down.
Bai Qingqing couldn’t help but say: “Eat slowly, don’t choke.”
The child glared at her with his dark eyes.
Don’t choke, ah! Did this bad woman think she could buy him with just a bag of chips? Just now, he had heard she was going to chop his dog up.
Bai Qingqing took some jerky from her space and played with the dog.
She had noticed that both the child and his pet were abnormally thin, she just didn’t know whether it was because of the end of days or if his family was particularly poor.
“Kid, what’s your name? Where is your family?” She asked through the window.
“Big sister” after the child had eaten, his mouth was sweeter, “My name is Abao.
Can you pretend you haven’t seen me?”
“Ah?? Bai Qingqing was confused, “Why?”
Abao’s big eyes had panic in them: “My parents say there are monsters outside and I have to hide at home or I will be taken away.”
Because of the zombies, the children were not allowed to come out?
A terrified voice joined in and a woman dressed in unusual clothes appeared.
She rushed over and yelled: “Abao! What did Mom say? Go back inside!”
Abao was scared; his face turned pale, he went back to his room in a hurry and disappeared from sight.
Bai Qingqing tried to explain the situation: “My name is Bai Qingqing, one of the new people who arrived yesterday.
I have no ill intention…”
The mother suddenly knelt in front of her and cried: “Miss, I beg you, don’t tell anyone about Abao!”
Bai Qingqing frowned and leaned over: “Get up first.”
“If you don’t agree, I won’t get up!” The mother was terrified and begging, “Miss, I implore you, I can give you food, just don’t say anything about Abao!”
“I don’t need anything.” Bai Qingqing’s space was already full of food, she wouldn’t take some from this family.
The mother knocked her head on the ground: “Please, please…”
Bai Qingqing was perplexed and felt she had no choice but to say: “How about this, give me a piece of corn and I will keep your secret.”
“Yes, yes!” The mother finally got up and wiped her tears.
She looked around, opened the door, and went in before coming out again with corn.
“Miss, take the corn.
Don’t say anything about Abao.”
Bai Qingqing held the vegetable and nodded.
“I promise.” She paused and added, “Is your husband named Awang? Or do you have any relative besides Abao’s father?”
The woman shook her head: “It’s only my husband and I.
Miss, don’t run around in the village, hurry back home.”
Bai Qingqing took the corn and left their courtyard.
After walking a few meters, she noticed Big Yellow was following her, staring at the corn in her hand.
She laughed: “Big Yellow, you also eat corn?”
The dog barked twice, drooling.
Unfortunately, Bai Qingqing didn’t want to give away her corn: “You can’t have that, I will give you some jerky later.”
She went to the remaining two households next, the dog on her tail.
Neither had the person she was looking for and had no choice to go back.
“Qingqing.” A voice came from the left.
After a whole day of exploration, it was the first time meeting with an acquaintance.
She breathed a sigh of relief and turned around with a smile to look at Xiao Yang and Fu Chen.
“Brother, Xiao Yang.”
Fu Chen had also changed clothes and was wearing the traditional costume.
The change made him look like a gloomy yet exotic tyrant and he had apparently been enlisted to do heavy manual labor too.
Bai Qingqing glanced at his shoulder with a distressed expression: “Brother, doesn’t your shoulder hurt?”
“It doesn’t hurt.” The man answered calmly.
Xiao Yang pretended to be in pain and clutched his own shoulder: “Sister Qingqing, why do you only care about Brother Fu? I’m in pain too.”
Bai Qingqing looked at him: “Are you? Do you need any medicine?”
She had a lot of it in her space.
Fu Chen stared at Xiao Yang and the light-haired boy received clear danger signals.
He scratched his head and said: “No need, I’m just joking.”
“Didn’t I tell you to not wander around?” Fu Chen’s voice was cold.
Bai Qingqing’s eyes showed worry and she replied: “Brother, I was anxious about you so I came to look for you.” She handed the corn to him, “This is for you, it’s sweet.”
“No, eat it yourself.” Fu Chen glanced at the patrol that was about to come over, “Go back quickly, don’t come out at night.”
“Yes, brother.” Bai Qingqing lowered her head in disappointment.
Fu Chen’s eyes moved slightly and whispered: “We will leave in two days.”
“Got it.” She turned around and walked back to where she had come from.
A few moments later, she stood halfway up the mountain with a grave expression on her face.
She observed the geographical environment of the village, thinking that she had to find her target tomorrow or it would be too late.
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