PROOFREAD BY AFREANA
Mr. Xie didn’t run anymore. His mind was spinning fast. Since the other party came prepared and surrounded the mountains, it must be impossible for him to hide and go down. An Ruochen still had other people with her, and they would be chasing him. He either takes advantage of the pursuit that has not yet arrived and kills a bloody road to escape or goes back to capture An Ruochen and use her as a hostage to leave the mountain. But maybe there were still officers and soldiers at the bottom, and he didn’t dare to underestimate the situation.
Mr. Xie flew up the tree and observed the situation. The sound of gongs continued, and the sound of people was getting closer and closer. Mr. Xie saw numerous people carrying hoes, sticks, and chopping knives. Were they serious? Mr. Xie gasped and laughed. He never thought he would be arrested because of the villagers’ encirclement.
Mr. Xie quickly made a decision. He jumped down from the tree, brewed up his emotions, poured mud on his body, and then began to stumble and run down the hill. After running for a while, someone spotted him. He met the other person and ran over, “Help, help!”
The villager held him up, “You’ve seen the wolf? Where is the wolf?”
Mr. Xie gritted his teeth. There’s a f*cking wolf! “Someone, someone killed someone.” He gasped for breath, pretended to be panicked, and pointed toward the mountain, “Murder!”
The villagers were alarmed and called out, “There are mountain bandits!”
The one who carried the gong struck it hurriedly – a situation had been detected, heading to the east.
Other gongs quickly responded. More and more people leaned in that direction.
The villagers held Mr. Xie in place, “Don’t be afraid, there are many of us, the whole village is here, we’re not afraid of mountain bandits. There are people at the bottom of the mountain, officers and soldiers. They are all at the bottom of the mountain, and noone can escape.”
What a good news. Mr. Xie once again gritted his teeth. He pretended to be weak and relaxed, leaning towards the villagers.
At this time, he heard someone running over and asked loudly, “What’s the situation? Where is the wolf?” The other villagers discuss a mountain bandit killing people and how to organize a confrontation.
Mr. Xie’s ears were sharp, and he heard An Ruochen’s voice. She was walking over, and he didn’t know who she was talking to, “Tell everyone. We can’t ease the siege. We can’t let anyone who doesn’t look familiar go. We’ll detain them first and take them to the Governor’s place. When searching, pay attention to the bushes, and don’t miss the trees.”
Someone heard it and asked Mr. Xie: “This gentleman, where are you from, and why are you on the mountain?”
Mr. Xie didn’t answer. He stood up straight and saw An Ruochen.
An Ruochen also saw him. She stopped and stared straight at him. She suddenly smiled at him.
Mr. Xie didn’t say anything and didn’t smile either. The An Ruochen in his eyes looked pretty. Her face was calm and collected, and her posture was graceful but gave a strong pose. Mr. Xie lowered his eyes. He was careless, ah. Knowing that he shouldn’t underestimate her, he still did.
After several twists and turns, the story was enough for Wang villagers to talk about for a while.
Erniu was finally found. This child ran amok and climbed a tree to take a bird’s nest. After that, he sneaked back to the village, intending to roast the bird to eat. As a result, the other children saw him. Then, someone went up the mountain to inform the villagers. There were no wolves, but they caught bandits. Three bandits died while a man who claimed to be the owner of a tea house in a foreign county refused to admit that he was a bandit himself and was caught. He said that his name was Tang Xuan. He came from Yunhe County in Shixi, where tea was abundant, and he came to Pingnan County because he wanted to find a tea house to talk about business and sell the tea to South Qin. He did not expect the trade between Pingnan and South Qin to be closed, so he temporarily resided in Fu’an County. Today, he was thinking of finding business opportunities in Zhonglan, and when he passed Mount Xiu, he felt that the scenery was good and casually strolled around.
This did not sound flawed. The villagers believed and warmly comforted Mr. Tang.
But then another villager jumped out and asked, “Mr. Tang, is this your first time coming to Mount Xiu?”
Tang Xuan replied, “Yes. I didn’t know there were bandits on this mountain. I just happened to be passing by today and felt that the scenery seemed good and I came up. This Miss can testify that I was alone when I came down.”
An Ruochen raised an eyebrow. Really dare to find her as a witness?
Tang Xuan glanced at her. He didn’t believe that she could make anything up. Didn’t she watch him go down the mountain alone? He added: “Then suddenly mountain bandits came out to kill people. I was so scared that I turned around and fled. Escaped down, met someone, then called for help.”
The villagers could testify to this. Everyone warmly comforted Mr. Tang again. But the villager who asked the question said, “You’re lying. I saw you coming down from the mountain early yesterday morning.”
The other villagers were surprised, “Chen Kui, did you see it clearly?”
“That’s right, it’s him.” Chen Kui also mentioned where Mr. Tang bolted and hid his horse yesterday, indicating that this person was familiar with this place. Some villagers immediately asked people to go to that place to check.
An Ruochen could not care about the horse: “He lied. There must be something going on. Take him down. Escort him back to the government office to be interrogated.”
Lu Zheng and Tian Qing came over and tied Tang Xuan up. This time, Tang Xuan didn’t run or struggle. He only said to An Ruochen, “What is your status? What are your grounds for arresting people? Do we have no emperor’s law in Great Xiao?”
Keep your act! An Ruochen ignored him. The villagers, however, did not stop. He was actually deceiving them! Pointing at him, they asked, “Just tell us why you lied!”
Tang Xuan, of course, could not say. Chen Kui pooh-poohed him. He lied and slandered him for misleading. Maybe it’s not just bandits. He must have something to hide. Could he be a spy? Yes, yes, the spies are likely to be merchants. Remember Boss Liu. Ah, and the gambling house Boss Lou, also the Xu Matchmaker.
The villagers fell into a heated discussion. The more they looked, the more they thought that Tang Xuan was a spy. Outsider, unknown origin, suspicious behavior. Definitely a spy. The villagers followed the guards and escorted him down the mountain.
An Ruochen didn’t go down the mountain with them. Instead, she walked up to the top and checked the temple.
The door was closed, and no one answered the call. Lu Zheng climbed over the wall to pull the back door latch open, and An Ruochen went in. This temple was ordinary, and there was no one inside. There was a small side yard house that An Ruochen paid attention to. There was a bed and table, so who has lived here? Was Tang Xuan hiding here? What is his relationship with the priestess?
An Ruochen walked to the Buddha Hall and saw the paper scripture. The handwriting was piercing. She closed her eyes and could not hide the excitement in her heart.
Finally! She found it.
“There are spies in Zhonglan City.”
“An Ruofang is alive.”
It was this handwriting that revealed these messages.
“Big brother Lu.” An Ruochen turned around and looked at Lu Zheng, “Please find the owner of this temple.”