Chapter 501 – Misfortune
Ye Qi and Shao Qingge hid near the wooden house and continued to eavesdrop. However, there was no dialogue in the house, only the snoring sound of children sleeping. The grandmother slept on the first floor. Ye Qi listened for a long time but nothing was gained. He had to give up temporarily.
Time passed minute by minute. In the blink of an eye, it was midnight.
Shao Qingge saw that all his card skills were refreshed and couldn’t help saying, “It is after midnight and we haven’t been sent back?”
Ye Qi thought about it and suggested, “Why don’t we try the Peach Blossom Spring? I remember that we were in the Peach Blossom Spring and after coming out, we were sent to 20 years in the past. Maybe it is space-time travel caused by a space transformation?”
Shao Qingge’s two Tao Yuanming cards had been refreshed. He used one card to open the Peach Blossom Spring and went inside with Ye Qi. Then they left the Peach Blossom Spring.
However, nothing in front of them had changed. Their view was still the wooden house.
The lonely wooden house in a deserted area was easy to associate with ghost stories.
Shao Qingge and Ye Qi looked at each other.
After a long time, Shao Qingge asked, “We can’t go back?”
Ye Qi looked frustrated. “It seems so. The keepers sent us 20 years into the past, presumably so we can investigate the clues from 20 years ago. Yet how are we supposed to tell Professor Xiao and the others after finding the clues?”
Shao Qingge gently pinched between his eyebrows and said helplessly, “I can’t think of a good idea. Let’s investigate first.”
They could only take it one step at a time.
At midnight, the skills of the invisibility cloaks had also been refreshed. Shao Qingge and Ye Qi put them on and sneaked into the wooden house. The two of them first explored the basement. To Ye Qi’s surprise, the basement was actually full of rattle-drums and the patterns painted on them were all Zodiac signs. It was exactly the same as Qin Feng’s hidden room that Lu Jiuchuan had found 20 years later.
Ye Qi said in his mind, “These rattle-drums should be made by the grandmother, right? It seems that Ren Yuan’s skill of drawing the Zodiac on the drum surface was also learned from her.”
“Yes.” Shao Qingge touched his chin thoughtfully. “This grandmother is like the dean of an orphanage who has adopted many homeless children. Ren Yuan should be the oldest and can already support himself. Out of the remaining four children, it isn’t known how many survived this famine. It seems we have to continue to track the movements of these children.”
“I’ll stick a few more bugs on them.”
They sneaked to the second floor. Ye Qi had a total of five bugs. One was stuck to Ren Yuan’s pocket and the remaining four were reset. It was just right to fit in the soles of the shoes of the four children.
They arranged all of this and turned to leave.
In the winter night, the cold wind was piercing. They were so cold that their teeth chattered so they simply hid in the Peach Blossom Spring. They sat under a tree and listened to any movements in the wooden house. A long time passed but there were no sounds from the bugs.
A strong sense of sleepiness struck and Ye Qi’s eyelids fought to close.
Shao Qingge saw his tired look and said in a soft voice, “At this time, the grandmother and children are sleeping. Sleep for a while as well and give this bug to me. We will take turns to rest so we can have the energy to continue the investigation tomorrow.”
“Yes, remember to call me if there is anything.” Ye Qi leaned against a tree and took a nap.
Shao Qingge next to him, frowned slightly.
If they were forced to stay in this world for 20 years as Ye Qi said, what should they do next? They first had to find out what really happened 20 years ago. Secondly, they had to smoothly survive the famine and chaos of this year. Finally, they had to find a way to leave clues for Xiao Lou.
They had the supply cards to get chocolate, biscuits, mineral water and milk every day. It shouldn’t be a problem to survive. The problem was how to pass on the clues to Xiao Lou.
If they couldn’t go back, how were they going to talk to Xiao Lou who was in the timeline 20 years later?
Shao Qingge was puzzled.
He was just getting a headache when there was a sound from the bug.
He heard a middle-aged man say in a low voice, “There must be someone in the wooden house in front.”
Then a woman’s voice was heard. “Third Brother, it has been a long time since we’ve gone down the mountain. We also searched this place when we were previously staying on the mountain. Wasn’t it an empty house where no one lived? How come you suddenly suspect there are people here?”
The middle-aged man sneered. “If I’m not mistaken, the people who live here are Grandmother Sun and those little bastards. They used to live in the forest outside the town. Last time, we took the gold and silver up the mountain and there was a little girl who saw my face. It is just that she ran too quickly for me to catch her. We searched the town and couldn’t find them. I’ve been thinking about it and I think they probably ran to the top of the mountain.”
A young man’s voice was heard. “Third Brother is right. The most dangerous place is the safest place. They thought that we killed people and escaped down the mountain so we probably wouldn’t return to the top of the mountain. Thus, they sneaked back up?”
The woman laughed. “It makes sense. Still, Third Brother is careful to want to go back to the mountain to take a look. I was wondering how the old woman suddenly disappeared. It turns out that she has been hiding here.”
The middle-aged man waved his hand. “Go, we can’t let them escape this time.”
Ye Qi was awakened by the sound from the bug and hurriedly sat up straight. “What is going on?”
Shao Qingge whispered, “It should be that group of robbers who came to the door. Among the children raised by the grandmother, one of the girls saw their faces. They might kill these children to silence them.”
Ye Qi was stunned before frowning in a worried manner, “What should we do? Should we save them?”
Shao Qingge also hesitated for a moment before answering, “The world where we currently are and Xiao Lou’s world 20 years in the future—are they actually corresponding worlds?”
Ye Qi was stunned and quickly understood what he meant. “You mean that the world we live in isn’t a separate instance but the real world 20 years ago? Will our actions have an impact on the world that follows?”
Shao Qingge frowned. “I’m afraid that is the case.”
Ye Qi scratched his head. “Our actions will have an impact on the future. The murderer killed people in retaliation for the death of their relatives. If we rush to save their relatives, the murderer’s psychology won’t be distorted and they won’t kill people in the future. So 20 years later, there won’t be a murderer?”
Shao Qingge, “……”
If they really saved the future murderer and let that person go on the right path, what would happen to their teammates in the subsequent timelines of this world?
Shao Qingge thought carefully about it. “Our teammates are in a different time and space. If we do something that affects the case, our teammates in the future might not be able to reason out the correct conclusion. Therefore, it is best for us to be bystanders and to not participate in historical events. This will ensure that the case won’t change 20 years later. What do you think?”
Ye Qi nodded. “Yes, we will just be bystanders, collecting and recording clues.”
They went back in time so they should try not to change history.
Perhaps it was only by doing this that the case could be accurately presented to Xiao Lou and the others.
The two of them discussed it before exiting from the Peach Blossom Spring and quietly hiding behind a tree.
The other party consisted of two men and one woman. They all wore black masks on their faces and should be part of the so-called Hounds organization.
They saw a middle-aged man holding a long knife in his hand while the young man and woman held a bundle of ropes and several cloth bags.
The ‘Third Brother’ who was the leader waved his hand and the other two quickly broke into the wooden house.
Soon, a cry came from inside the house. “What? You let go! Children, run!”
It was the hoarse voice of the grandmother and the last sentence was shouted very loudly.
The children upstairs were alarmed. One of the clever girls jumped out the window and ran wildly. She happened to be running in the direction of the cliff with the vine. The remaining children didn’t have time to escape. They were quickly subdued by the three adults, wrapped in sacks and carried downstairs on the adults’ shoulders.
There was a muffled sound from the sacks and the man in the lead said coldly, “Bring them back!”
Ye Qi and Shao Qingge looked at each other and Shao Qingge said in his mind, “I will follow this group. You go and follow the child. Pay attention to safety and communicate with me at any time.”
The two of them separated.
Ye Qi used the teleportation card to follow the child like the wind. The child had a very obvious scar on her face and looked panicked, but her escape speed was indeed fast enough. The little girl ran all the way and came to the edge of the cliff in the blink of an eye. She climbed down the vine like a monkey.
The child was extremely agile and she obviously often climbed up and down the vine.
In a few moments, the girl slipped to the bottom of the mountain and ran towards the town.
Ye Qi followed her the entire time and saw her come to the remote alley of the town. She climbed over the wall into Ren Yuan’s house and lifted the weeds covering the cellar. She hurriedly ran into the hole. “Uncle Ren, it isn’t good. Grandma was caught by those people!”
Ren Yuan’s expression changed and he hurriedly grabbed the child’s hand. “How can this be? Didn’t those people settle down in the town? How could they go back to the top of the mountain?”
The child shook her head. “I don’t know. What to do? Will Grandma be caught by them as a human animal?”
Ren Yuan’s face was pale and he paced back and forth in the underground space for a while. “Don’t worry. I know where they keep people in captivity. Let me think of a way…”
Ye Qi hid nearby and listened to their conversation. At the same time, Shao Qingge’s voice was heard in his mind. “I followed them. They brought the grandmother and children back to the town. The backyard of the largest house in Qingfeng Town is decorated to look like a pigsty and many people are locked up. Everyone is tied up with ropes. Some people’s hands and feet have been chopped off and blood is everywhere.”
The scene in front of him was like hell on earth.
The kitchen in the backyard was busy. Shao Qingge couldn’t believe that these animals were actually cooking human flesh in the kitchen with relish. A few women were rolling out dough and chopping human flesh into meat fillings to make stuffed buns.
After the grandmother and children were brought back, the man simply took off his mask. He pulled the little girl out of the sack and squeezed her chin hard. “Han Ningshuang, didn’t you see me that day? In any case, you are going to die so it doesn’t matter if you see me clearly now.” He patted the girl’s face and smiled. “Take her away and wash her. She will be today’s lunch.”
The girl’s face was full of horror. “No, don’t kill me! Uncle Zhao, I won’t say it, I definitely won’t say it!”
The nine year old girl was forcibly dragged away.
Ye Qi wondered in his mind, “The surname is Zhao?”
Shao Qingge nodded with a calm expression. “Perhaps this is the reason why the Zhao family was wiped out.”
Proofreader: Paranoid Kitten & Fictional Reality