Chapter 27: Meeting Refugees
Xiaozhang watched as Shen Yun cried out in pain from being beaten and pulled him aside with a smile.
“This person is too nosy. Even if he has connections, what can he do?”
“Yesterday our child kicked me, and Yu’an said there were two of them.” Xiaoxhang brought up the events of the previous night, intending to divert everyone’s attention.
They were indeed distracted and asked in surprise, “Two! Really?”
Grandma Shen and the others also gathered around, eagerly staring at XiaoZhang’s belly.
But after a moment, Grandma Shen became worried and said, “Giving birth is like going through the gates of hell. When my second one was born, I suffered a lot, not to mention now that we’re constantly running around outside…”
Grandma Shen unfinished words were understood by everyone, and Shen Yun looked at XiaoZhang nervously.
But XiaoZhang reassured them with a smile, “Don’t worry, even though we have to run around outside for a while, you’ve taken good care of me and nothing will happen.”
Song Shi also quickly added, “Yu’an can’t be sure of anything. There might not even be two in her belly. In any case, taking good care of her is never wrong.”
“Right. We just need to take good care of her. Even if there are two, we’re not afraid. Fortunately, Yu’an bought some prenatal medicine in advance,” Grandma Shen said.
“When the sun is not so hot, come out and walk with us. Otherwise, you won’t have the energy when it’s time to give birth.” Grandma Shen suggested.
People who were sent to search for Lin Popi have returned without finding him.
Lin Popi has no relatives or family members in the village, and he also has poor relationships with the people in the village. These people who went out to search didn’t really make an effort to find him.
They just walked a few hundred meters to put up a show and then came back.
“Yesterday, Lin Popi didn’t want to leave. Maybe he ran back home,” someone said.
“Yes, let’s hurry up and go, or it’ll get too hot when the sun comes up later,” another person agreed.
The village chief listened to everyone’s opinions and shouted, “Let’s go!”
Shen Yu’an walked behind the group and remembered that her mother had complained about the mosquitoes earlier in the morning. Looking at everyone’s bodies, she noticed that they all had small bites from the mosquitoes.
She put some thought into it and found some mosquito repellent ointment from her belongings in the space.
She gave a jar of the ointment to her mother and her grandmother respectively.
She whispered mysteriously, “This is the ointment that the old man gave me. It’s for repelling mosquitoes. Apply some on your body and share it with others.”
Grandma Shen took the smooth little jar and opened it to reveal the emerald green ointment inside.
“Oh, it smells really good. This must have cost a lot of money,” Grandma Shen said as she sniffed the ointment. She was reluctant to use it.
She added, “Everyone here is tough-skinned and thick-skinned. Who needs this? In the summer, it’s inevitable to get bitten by insects a few times.”
“Put it away quickly. When we find a place to settle down, we might be able to sell it for a good price,” Grandma Shen said as she tried to stuff the ointment back into the bag she was carrying.
Shen Yu’an quickly stopped and said, “The old man may not give us something anymore someday, and since he has given it to us, we should use it now.”
“If we don’t use it, he might get angry and think that we don’t appreciate his kindness. What should we do if he doesn’t give us anything in the future?”
Grandma Shen was frightened and exclaimed, “Is it really that serious?”
Shen Yu’an continued to coax, “Of course, that’s right. If it wasn’t, why didn’t he give us this thing before? We can’t say things like that in the future.”
She remembered that Grandma Shen believed in gods and Buddhas the most, so saying this would make her not dare to say such things again in the future.
If they were hesitant to use the things every time she took them out, it would be troublesome to explain over and over again. So it’s better to put an end to it at once and attack Grandma Shen’s weak point directly.
Grandma Shen held the small jar Shen Yu’an gave her, feeling both heartbroken and conflicted. Finally, she made up her mind and said, “Let’s use it, everyone.”
Then she secretly applied the ointment to her body and passed it on to others.
The members of the Shen family knew where this thing came from. It was a gift from the old man who liked their granddaughter, Yu’an. But they all happily used it.
Song Shi handed the jar to Ding Hehua and pulled her arm, saying, “Apply this ointment on your body, and you won’t be afraid of insect bites.”
Ding Hehua opened the jar and pushed it back, saying, “We don’t need this good thing. Take it back.”
After some persuasion from Song Shi, Ding Hehua finally applied the ointment to her body carefully.
After walking for most of the day and approaching the outskirts of the county, the people of Shen’s village finally met another group.
It was a group of less than a hundred people, all looking tired and dusty.
At the head of the group was an elderly man in his fifties, who looked even more weathered than the people of Shen’s village, but had a kind face.
When he saw the people of Shen’s village and their luggage, his eyes lit up with excitement.
The luggage looked bulging, and there must be a lot of food inside.
Several middle-aged men standing behind the old man walked over and said to him, “Uncle, they seem to have a lot of food with them. When they arrive, we can try to ask for some.”
The middle-aged men spoke hesitantly, indicating that they did not think this idea was feasible.
The person clenched their fists and made a determined decision, “Or maybe we can just take some by force, at least to get through this difficult time.”
“The grandson of the old lady hasn’t eaten anything for two days. If there’s nothing left to eat, he might not be able to hold on much longer.”
The others looked at the old man with hopeful eyes, as if waiting for him to speak so they could gear up and take action when the people from Shen’s village arrived.
The old man shook his head when he saw that Shen Village had three times as many people as them.
“Let’s stand aside and let them pass.”
The people looked unhappy, but no one disputed the old man’s decision, so they moved back.
However, when the people from Shen’s Village approached, an old woman holding her grandson rushed to the front of the line.
“Please give us some food, I beg you to give us some food. My grandson hasn’t eaten for two days. Please, kind-hearted people, give us some food.”
An old woman knelt down in front of the Li family who were walking at the forefront, crying and shouting.
Lizheng’s wife stared angrily and said, “We don’t have any food to eat either. Where do we have extra food to give you? Move aside, move aside.”
After speaking, she pushed the old woman kneeling on the ground to the side.
The people in the back helped the old woman who almost fell down.
Several daughters-in-law of Lizheng’s family held tightly to the bags of grain on the carriage, staring at the old woman with guarded eyes.
The people behind also looked at the old woman on the ground, but ignored her crying.
Even those who felt pity were suppressed by other members of their family.
At present, they couldn’t even feed themselves, so how could they spare kindness to help others?
The refugees behind the old woman stared greedily at the Shen Village people, causing the family to quicken their pace to distance themselves from the group of refugees.
As they get closer, Shen Yu’an saw the old woman still kneeling on the ground while crying, as well as the other thin and pale refugees behind her.