Chapter 61: Soul Beneath the Blade
Li Guawu, the widow spotted Lin Dazhuang not far away and quickly run behind him, making sure to administer some eye contact to Ma Shi before doing so.
When Li Guawu ran over, Lin Dazhuang recognized her right away.
He turned his head and pinched her waist, his eyes widening in surprise.
“Aiyo, your skin feels so good, and you’re still so soft.”
There were more than one or two people in the village who had some kind of relationship with Li Guawu, but she ran straight to him, which meant something!
Surely, in Li Guawu’s heart, he was different from other men. Lin Dazhuang’s mind raced, and he suddenly straightened his posture.
As the saying goes, “A wife is not as good as a concubine, and a concubine is not as good as wife.” There were no wildflowers that smelled better than the ones at home. So when Lin Dazhuang saw Li Guawu coming, he was more than proud to go straight to her.
Li Guawu didn’t get angry when she was pinched. Instead, she playfully slapped Lin Dazhuang, blushing and shyly saying, “You rascal, everyone’s watching.”
Ma Shi watched in disbelief as this despicable man acted so arrogantly in front of her.
She raised her hands to attack Li Guawu.
Li Guawu could have easily dodged Ma Shi’s incoming attack, but instead, she intentionally moved closer. Ma Shi grabbed Li Guawu’s hair and began to tear at it.
“You’re a useless woman who can’t survive without a man. I’ll tear you apart!” Ma Shi screamed.
Li Guawu’s scalp was sore from being pulled, and she cried out while trying to protect her hair that was still in Ma Shi’s hands.
“Help! Murder! Someone save me!”
Li Guawu’s cries were heartbreaking, Lin Dazhuang finally snapped out of it and rescued her hair from Ma Shi’s grip.
Seeing that Ma Shi was still trying to attack, Lin Dazhuang angrily rebuked her: “Stop it. You’re acting like a shrew.”
“Lin Dazhuang, you heartless man! How dare you call me a shrew!” Ma Shi howled and sat on the ground, crying out loud.
“I’ve been working like a slave in your Lin family for so many years, bearing and raising your children…” Ma Shi wailed.
Several women, whose men also had uncertain relationships with Li Guawu, empathized with her.
However, Li Guawu was relieved that Ma Shi stop attacking her and was grateful that she had avoided trouble. So, she dared not go out to dissuade Ma Shi at this time.
At last, some other villagers couldn’t bear to watch anymore and stepped forward to try and calm the situation. They spoke a few words and somehow managed to get Li Guawu to stop clinging to Lin Dazhuang and sit down on her own.
Meanwhile, Shen Yu’an had noticed her father coming back with some people from a distance.
Soon, Shen Yu’an’s father and the others arrived in front of the group.
“How did it go? Anyone hurt?” The villagers anxiously crowded around and asked.
“Everyone, no one’s hurt. There were only twenty people on the other side. If our sixty-plus people couldn’t beat them, we wouldn’t have the face to come back,” Shen Ming said with a smile.
“Okay, okay, good that no one’s hurt,” everyone said.
After everyone returned, Shen Yu’an gathered everyone together to discuss the plan of taking advantage of the situation to attack the bandit’s stronghold.
“Now, there are less than forty people left in the stronghold. Dad, you lead some people to attract their attention from the front, and I’ll lead some people to surround them from the back. Don’t let any of them escape,” Shen Yu’an said.
Thinking back to the day when she was investigating the situation in the stronghold, Shen Yu’an saw not only some women who had been captured but also some men and children.
Based on the bandits’ behavior, those people were probably being kept as “human shields.”
She reminded them, “There are many people who have been captured in the stronghold. We can’t kill them indiscriminately even if they don’t hesitate to use violence.”
“Rest for fifteen minutes and then we’ll set off immediately!”
“Great!” Everyone exclaimed excitedly.
They were almost at the final obstacle, and after that, they would finally be able to obtain food!
Meanwhile, those who didn’t contribute to the effort were now filled with regret.
If they had known that it was so easy to get food and that no one would be hurt, they would have definitely joined in as well.
But now it was too late for regrets, and they could only lament over their missed opportunity.
After fifteen minutes, everyone was ready, waiting for Shen Yu’an’s command.
“Let’s go, everyone, be careful!” Shen Yu’an ordered.
They split into two groups and headed towards the front and back of the stronghold.
Shen Yu’an knew the area well, while her father was with Ji Xun, making it easy to find the location.
When they saw the stronghold standing on the other side of the mountain, the people from Shen’s village who came along couldn’t help but feel relieved. It was a good thing they didn’t try to go around the mountain. Otherwise, they would have been like lambs offering themselves to be slaughtered.
The few bandits guarding the gate immediately noticed the arrival of the group. “Who are you people?!” one of them shouted.
Ji Xun, dressed in a slightly longer rough cloth robe and with his hands behind his back, replied lightly, “Naturally, we are the people who are here to kill you.”
“It’s you! You ran away and dared to come back!” The bandit guarding the gate recognized Ji Xun.
This person was the one who had captured Ji Xun on the road. However, he had discovered this morning that the prisoner had escaped and he hadn’t dared to report it to his boss yet, so he had come back to the camp.
It seemed that he could now directly hand over the person to his boss to make up for his mistake.
The commotion outside also caught the attention of those inside. They thought it was the brothers who had blocked the road to rob earlier that day, and they joyfully went out to greet them.
But they were surprised to see a large group of people blocking the entrance to their village.
“Who are you?” Asked the big brother with a long beard stepped forward, staring at them fiercely.
Shen Rong felt a strong hatred towards these people in front of him. His daughter had warned him about them before.
These people had food, yet they kept others captive and ate human flesh.
“We are here to bring justice. Let’s go, everyone,” he declared.
After his words, they all charged forward with an imposing momentum.
The leader of the group saw the large and fierce crowd approaching and immediately said, “Quick, everyone, retreat back into the village!”
His original plan was to retreat back into the village and wait for the rest of his brothers to return in the evening, so they could launch a surprise attack on the intruders.
However, before they could even make it back into the village, cries for help erupted from within: “Help! Someone has entered the village!”
Shen Yu’an and other villagers had surrounded them. The bandits were trembling in fear as they found themselves trapped in the middle of so many people.
“What kind of people are you? Let’s talk things out. We have food, and if you want to join us, I can make you the second-in-command of the village!” The leader said to Shen Rong, trying to negotiate.
“Hmph, we’re not interested. If we want anything, it’s your lives,” Shen Yu’an’s cold voice came from behind.
The leader shuddered and turned his head to look.
“I advise you not to toast without eating and drink the punishment wine. If there’s any commotion, my brothers will definitely come back…” The leader held a big meat cleaver in his hand, his face full of ferocity.
“Then I’m afraid you’ll have to look for them underground,” Shen Yu’an replied coldly.
The bandits widened their eyes in disbelief, not understanding what she meant.
Shen Yu’an signaled Shen Rong across from him, and they charged towards the bandits together with their group.
In no time, the bandits were all defeated and became souls under their swords.