TL: Small trigger warning for the chapter that includes the death of a minor character and descriptions of cann*balism.
Chapter 502 – Grandma’s Death
Shao Qingge hid near the yard and listened carefully to the movements inside.
Han Ningshuang was dragged to a corner and a young man with a sharp knife stood in front of her, asking with a smile, “Little girl, should I cut off your left hand or your right hand first? Or should I cut off your ears?”
Han Ningshuang was so frightened that her face was full of tears. She knelt on the ground with a thud and shook her head desperately. “Don’t kill me! Please don’t kill me. I swear, I won’t tell anyone!”
A woman next to her said coldly, “Since she saw what we look like, why don’t we gouge out her eyes first?” The woman lifted Han Ningshuang’s chin and smiled. “These eyes are really beautiful.”
Then she made a gesture to dig out Han Ningshuang’s eyes.
Just then, a little boy pounced and bit the woman’s hand hard. “Let her go!”
The woman’s hand had a row of bloody tooth marks and she couldn’t help being angry. She kicked the boy, tore the boy’s collar and slapped him several times. “Is this stinky boy a dog? How dare you bite me?”
The young man told her, “Fourth Sister, it seems they won’t obey if you don’t teach this child a lesson.”
The man raised the knife in his hand and slashed it down, neatly cutting off the little boy’s finger.
A child’s terrible scream was heard in the yard.
Han Ningshuang saw the blood on the ground and was also frightened. She cried out, “Qi Ran, your hand!”
The person called ‘Fourth Sister’ clapped her hands and said coldly, “Take these children away and chop off their hands first. Then chop off their feet to let them understand what happens when they offend us.”
Just then, the old woman rushed over. She hugged Han Ningshuang tightly and said, “Don’t kill them. These children have a strange disease and you will get sick if you eat them.”
The woman was startled and looked back at the old woman. “A strange disease?”
The grandmother said, “These children have many red spots on their bodies. It is likely that they have smallpox.”
The moment the group heard the word ‘smallpox’, their expression changed. The ones holding the children immediately let go and hid like they were the plague. The grandmother walked over and lifted Han Ningshuang’s clothes. Sure enough, there were many large and small spots on the girl’s back.
The grandmother choked up. “These children have had no parents since childhood and now they have smallpox. They definitely won’t survive. Why don’t you find a place to bury them? Don’t eat their flesh or you will get sick…”
The Fourth Sister and the young man looked at each other with disgust. “Go find a place and bury these sick children alive. As for the old woman… there might be some use in keeping her.”
The young man seemed worried about being infected and simply put the three children in sacks.
The old woman was dragged away.
Han Ningshuang struggled in the sack and shouted, “Let me go! You beasts will surely be punished!”
Her words infuriated the young man and he punched and kicked the sack. It wasn’t known if the little girl fainted but the sack gradually became quiet until it was motionless. It was only then that the young man called for other people to carry the three sacks to the wasteland in the center of the town. They dug a large pit and buried these three children alive.
Shao Qingge witnessed the tragic situation that took place 20 years ago and didn’t know how to evaluate it for a while.
These beasts had indeed lost their humanity. It was no wonder that the murderer was so fierce that the murderer directly wiped out their descendants.
Ye Qi felt Shao Qingge’s anger and said in a despondent manner, “Unfortunately, we can’t stop all of this. Once we intervene and stop it, the grandmother will be saved and the murderer will no longer seek revenge. The murders that will occur 20 years later might not happen and all of us might never get out of this secret room…”
The butterfly effect was too terrifying. Once they intervened in historical events, it would indeed affect their teammates. Ye Qi and Shao Qingge didn’t dare to act willfully. However, both of them had a heavy heart at having to watch the tragedy happen while being unable to stop it.
Shao Qingge changed the subject and asked, “What are the plans of the little girl who escaped and Ren Yuan?”
Ye Qi answered, “The girl’s name is Zhou Xiaoyun. She has calmed down and plans to go to the courtyard to save people after it is dark tonight. Their plan is to set a fire to burn the courtyard and take advantage of the chaos to rescue the grandmother and other three children.”
Shao Qingge was silent for a moment before analyzing it. “The four children are Qin Feng, Qi Ran, Han Ningshuang and Zhou Xiaoyun. Among them, Qi Ran protected Han Ningshuang and had one of his fingers cut off by these people. The grandmother said they have smallpox but this is probably a lie. I think the red spots on Han Ningshuang’s body are more like the marks left after getting chickenpox. The three children have been buried alive in sacks. Since Qin Feng is still alive 20 years later, someone must’ve rescued them.”
Ye Qi wondered, “Could it be Ren Yuan and Zhou Xiaoyun who found them buried alive and rescued them?”
Shao Qingge shook his head. “They are buried alive. The lack of oxygen means they will suffocate in a few minutes. Ren Yuan and Zhou Xiaoyun have discussed setting a fire to save people at night and they don’t know that the three children have been buried alive, so it is impossible for them to save the three children so quickly. I’m more inclined to think that someone else saved these children.”
Ye Qi praised it. “It makes sense. Chief Shao, your reasoning ability has improved a lot!”
Shao Qingge smiled. “I’ve been with Xiao Lou and Yu Hanjiang for so long. How can I not learn from them?”
Ye Qi asked, “Are you following them?”
Shao Qingge was hiding on the roof of a nearby house while staring at the place where the three children were buried alive. “Yes, I’ve been watching the entire time. I can’t take the initiative to save them but someone else should be saving them. This person is also very crucial.”
At almost the same moment that Shao Qingge finished speaking, he saw a sneaky young woman appear nearby. She took a shovel and dug at the mound that had just formed. Then she jumped down into the pit and dragged up three sacks in a laborious manner.
By the time the sacks were untied, the faces of the three children had already turned blue from suffocation.
Han Ningshuang opened her eyes in a daze and looked at the person in front of her. “Qing… Aunt Qing?”
The woman made a ‘shh’ gesture and shook the other two children awake as well. After they woke up, she refilled the surrounding soil into the pit and made it look like the pit was filled. Then she hurriedly led the three children to Ren Yuan’s residence.
Shao Qingge spoke to Ye Qi in his mind. “The rescuer is going to Ren Yuan’s residence. You have to be careful and hide.”
Ye Qi hid in a corner of the courtyard to eavesdrop. Sure enough, he saw a woman and three children looking for Ren Yuan. He immediately stepped back into the shadow and replied, “I see them. Who is this woman?”
“Han Ningshuang called her Aunt Qing. She was probably also brought up by the grandmother like Ren Yuan. These children seem very familiar with her.”
Soon, the voices of several people talking to each other came from the bug.
Ren Yuan was excited. “Ah Qing, how did you come back? When did you come back?”
Aunt Qing explained, “I was originally in Yuezhou. I heard there was a famine here so I wanted to come back and see you. Unexpectedly, as soon as I came back, I saw several people putting Ningshuang and the others in sacks and burying them alive. Fortunately, I arrived in time to save them.”
After Han Ningshuang resumed breathing, her face gradually became rosy again. She choked up as she took Qi Ren’s hand. “Qi Ran, how is your hand? I’ll wrap it for you…”
Qi Ran told her calmly, “It’s fine. It is just a finger.”
Qin Feng looked at them and hesitated.
A moment later, he whispered, “Grandma was taken. Will they …”
Han Ningshuang exclaimed angrily, “Those beasts will definitely chop her up and eat her! Didn’t you see them cooking human flesh? They are crazy!”
Zhou Xiaoyun said timidly, “Sister Ningshuang, what should we do? Go and save Grandma?”
Ren Yuan said, “There are a lot of them and they are strong in fighting. We aren’t their opponents. Why not act at night?”
Qi Ran’s voice was cold. “If we go at night, Grandma might’ve already been dismembered.”
Qin Feng agreed. “Ah Ran is right. We must go early if we want to save her.”
There was a moment of silence before Aunt Qing made up her mind. “Okay, you four children will stay here. Brother Ren and I will find a way to save her.”
Ren Yuan agreed. “Yes, let’s set a fire and see if we can rescue her in the chaos.”
The two of them discussed it and quickly came to the courtyard.
However, they arrived only to find their grandmother’s hands and feet had been cut off and she had already died due to excessive blood loss.
The old woman’s body was thrown to the side of the road like rubbish.
Ren Yuan furiously wiped away a handful of tears and brought her body back to the cellar.
The four children saw the tragic situation of their grandmother and pounced toward her, crying bitterly. “Grandma!”
Shao Qingge and Ye Qi listened to their fierce cries with the bug and couldn’t help feeling distressed. For these orphans, the grandmother was their only relative. Now in order to protect them, their grandmother was cut by those gangsters and died so painfully…
It stabbed a bloody hole in their hearts that could never be filled.
Zhao Xiaoyun cried until she fainted. Han Ningshuang cried for a while before gritting her teeth and saying, “We must avenge Grandma!”
Qi Ran declared with a cold face, “Let them pay with blood!”
Aunt Qing choked up and patted the children’s heads. “Silly children, we can’t protect ourselves right now. Let’s live first. Qingfeng Town is no longer safe. Why don’t you go back to Yuezhou with me?”
Ren Yuan said, “There are so many of us. Won’t it be more dangerous if we act together? In the current world, there is no safe place. I met two outsiders today and they were robbed on the road.”
Aunt Qing wondered, “What do you suggest?”
Ren Yuan glanced at the food in the hole for a moment before saying, “Qi Ran is injured and it isn’t convenient for him to travel long distances. Xiaoyun’s health also isn’t very good. Qi Ran and Xiaoyun will stay with me and I will take care of them. I should have enough food to keep the three of us alive. You take Ningshuang and Qin Feng to Yuezhou. There are fewer people so it will be more convenient to move.”
Aunt Qing nodded. “Okay. If everyone can survive, we will see you in Yuezhou.”
That night, Aunt Qing took Han Ningshuang and Qin Feng away from Qingfeng Town. It wasn’t known where she got it from but the three of them rode a horse at night and quickly escaped from Qingfeng Town.
Qi Ran and Zhou Xiaoyun were injured so they stayed in the cave with Ren Yuan.
Ren Yuan bandaged Qi Ran’s fingers and cooked sweet potatoes for the two of them. He told them not to go out in the future.
Ye Qi said in his mind, “Apart from Qin Feng, the other three children might be the murderer. Who are you more inclined toward?”
Shao Qingge answered, “I think it might be Qi Ran. He has the obvious feature of his finger being cut off but we haven’t encountered anyone like that 20 years later. He is hidden deeply. Of course, Han Ningshuang or Zhou Xiaoyun might also have committed the crime. In particular, Han Ningshuang’s eyes are full of hatred. She just followed Aunt Qing but she said she would be back in the future to get revenge.”
They had to choose one of the three. Which one was the correct answer?
Partially proofread: Paranoid Kitten