Chapter 42: No Gain Without Pain
After working tirelessly late into the night, everyone inevitably slept in the next morning.
Around 10 o’clock in the morning the group was still half asleep rubbing their eyes.
The elderly people and Xiao Zhang had already prepared breakfast early in the morning, and upon waking up, they allowed Shen Yu’an to catch a few more moments of rest.
As the group got up and stretched their arms and legs, they felt more tired after a night of rest, with some experiencing soreness and back pain, making them feel more exhausted than if they had walked dozens of kilometers.
Xiao Zhang helped grandma Shen cook rice on an open space nearby, and the aroma of the cooked rice filled the air as the others woke up.
After everyone had gathered to eat breakfast, Shen Yu’an led them to the location of yesterday’s fight, with the intention of cremating the body.
With the weather being hot, it would be disastrous if a plague broke out from leaving the bodies piled up for too long.
The sight was gruesome, with bodies lying in the ground, and the blood on the ground had already dried up, resembling patches of reddish-brown cloth covering the ground.
It was evident that the fight from the night before had been intense.
They endured the discomfort and dragged all the bodies to a single location, then collected some dry firewood from the nearby forest and set them alight.
After finishing these tasks, more than an hour had passed, and everyone was exhausted and panting.
Having just witnessed so many corpses, no one had the appetite to eat, so they decided to hit the road for a while.
Due to the additional two carts that needed to be pushed, their pace slowed down even more.
Perhaps due to the long delay, it wasn’t long before they saw people approaching from behind.
The people were none other than the group from Shen’s village.
The Shen villagers had originally planned to stop and rest because it was already noon.
However, upon seeing the bloodstains on the ground and the burnt black marks, they were afraid that something unexpected might happen if they stayed there. So they decided to walk a bit further before resting.
Suddenly, someone saw the group from Shen’s family ahead and shouted, “Hey, isn’t that Shen’s family up there?”
Others also looked ahead to see.
“I don’t think that’s them. The group looks too long, and Shen’s family doesn’t have that many carts,” someone glanced and denied.
However, everyone still craned their necks to look ahead.
Lizheng and his family, along with Wu’s family, who were walking at the front of the group, had the clearest view. They knew it was Shen’s family, and no one else.
Aunt Wu pouted and expressed her dissatisfaction, “Tsk, I thought they were all dead, but they actually went ahead.”
It’s not surprising that she would think that way.
Earlier, many people thought that the bloodstains on the ground were left by the Shen family, who had gone ahead. This had scared many people.
Especially the sons, daughters-in-law of Shen Xingwang and the family of Wu Cuihua are grateful that they did not follow them on this journey.
Otherwise, if they encounter bad people on the road, there are so few of them that the outcome would not be good.
As for Wu Cuihua’s family, they are okay. They did not want Wu Cuihua to follow them because they were concerned about their own safety.
However, it was different for the sons and daughters-in-law of Mr. Shen Xingwang’s family.
On the night before the Shen family left, Shen Yu’an beat up the three brothers.
They not only failed to obtain the grain but also received a beating, and they all developed hatred towards the Shen family.
They said they were family, but when they found the grain, they didn’t even give them half.
And then there was Aunt Wu, the old woman, and Lin Chunyan, they were hoping that something would happen to the Shen family!
So when they saw those endless bloodstains, they automatically imagined all kinds of miserable situations that the Shen family might have encountered.
Someone said that the people ahead were from scholar Shen Rong family?
Could it be that some people escaped after encountering bandits?
But even if they escaped, they must have had a miserable time.
Maybe they were robbed of their grain and had lost limbs and couldn’t survive for long.
They should protect their own grain to prevent the surviving members of Shen Rong’s family from begging for it.
However, everyone’s curiosity couldn’t be stopped. They kept standing on tiptoe, looking ahead with their heads raised.
But when they finally saw what was ahead, everyone was stunned.
“What, what, what’s going on? And why does it seem like there are two more carts?” The people were puzzled, but it didn’t affect their active minds.
There seemed to be quite a bit of grain on those two carts.
Since they were from the same village, they thought they should help out and support each other.
They didn’t want too much, just the extra two carts of grain. The extra grain on the way must have come from an illegitimate source.
By giving them the grain, they would be doing a good deed, and they would also be helping Shen Rong’s family accumulate good karma.
The more they thought about it, the more they felt that it made sense. They even felt like they were doing a great favor for Shen’s family.
The commotion behind them was so loud that the Shen family ahead had also noticed them.
They hadn’t forgotten how Shen Lizheng had driven them out without any justification.
Although they had gone through last night’s ordeal, they understood that they were not afraid even if they walked alone.
However, it didn’t mean that they could forget what had happened.
So they didn’t think about stopping and waiting for the people behind them to catch up and exchange pleasantries.
But their speed was so fast that the people from Shen village behind them seemed to have gone crazy and increased their speed.
In no time, the distance between them was less than a hundred meters.
Lizheng looked at the people from his village in front of him, and his expression became serious when he thought of the place they had just passed by.
He was thinking about something, and when the group got closer, he raised his voice and called out to them.
“Brother Xingwang, Brother Xingde, what a coincidence to meet you here,” Lizheng asked with a smile on his face.
The Shen family group thought it was just their bad luck, what a coincidence my foot.
But they didn’t want to make it too obvious, so grandpa Shen stopped and turned around, replying, “It is quite a coincidence indeed.”
As soon as grandpa Shen stopped, the rest of the Shen family had to stop too.
The people behind quickly caught up, and those who were close seemed to be part of the same group.
Lizheng seemed to have forgotten about kicking them out of the team and approached with a smile to strike up a conversation.
“Your family is safe and sound, that’s really great. You don’t know, we just passed by a place where there was so much blood on the ground. I thought something happened to you and I felt really guilty, but now that I see you’re alright, my heart is at ease.”
As he spoke, he reached out and patted the shoulder of grandpa Shen, looking as if he was feeling guilty.
Old Master Shen didn’t want to say much to them and took a step back, causing Lizheng’s hand to pat nothing but air.
With a hint of embarrassment and dissatisfaction flashing across his face, Lizheng silently withdrew his hand when grandpa Shen stepped back. He asked a few more questions, but they were all blocked by grandpa Shen and his companions without a word.
Unable to get any answers, Lizheng suppressed his anger and forced a smile.
“It’s already noon, why don’t you take a break and rest? Our village folks are all here.” Lizheng said.
Upon hearing this, Shen Yu’an couldn’t help but laugh.
Did he forget that he had already kicked them out of the group?
Lizheng was the kind of person who always had an ulterior motive, so he must have had some sort of plan in mind when he approached them so eagerly.