Zheng Yu’s death was so bizarre and the result of the autopsy report was so outrageous that the police didn’t know how to proceed from there. Nevertheless, the evidence they gathered so far only indicated that no human was involved, and his death appeared to be accidental.
When they left the police station, Master Guan sighed. The wrinkles on his face made him look older.
Guan Shui finally recovered from the shock of Zheng Yu’s death and looked at Jiang Lan with a plea in his eyes, as if he wanted assurance from Jiang Lan.” Will those turtles kill again?”
But Jiang Lan couldn’t give him a sure answer. He shook his head.” Those turtles appeared to be very mad at the moment. If we couldn’t find out what Zheng Yu did to them, and couldn’t pacify them, there was no telling what they would do next.”
Those turtles are not humans, having no concept of how to react accordingly and probably wouldn’t take care to avoid harming innocent people.
Guan Shui said.” Let’s go to Zhang Zi. If we have to break his leg to find out what they actually did, so be it.”
Before he had time to make a call, his phone rang.
The calling number belongs to the people he assigned to keep an eye on Zhang Zi. Seeing these, Guan Shui had a bad feeling. He turned on the speaker so Jiang Lan could hear it.” Guan Shui Brother, Zhang Zi disappeared.”
This person had stayed with Zhang Zi, but when lunch time came, he went out to buy food. When he returned, Zhang Zi had already gone.
And no one nearby knew when he left.
Having no idea how to find Zhang Zi, he called Guan Shui and he immediately rang Zhang Zi, but he refused to answer Guan Shui’s call.
With a grim face, he said.” Looks like he had been planning this escape for a while.”
Ying Qiao said with a mocking smile.” God couldn’t stop a person seeking his own destruction.” He turned to Jiang Lan.” How about we have lunch together?”
Jiang Lan hesitated and looked at Guan Shui and his Master Guan, who looked exhausted and worried. He didn’t care at all whether Zhang Zi would die or not. But he thought these two people didn’t deserve to suffer this disaster.
Recovering bodies was not an easy job for the faint hearted. Working in the water, they took immense risk to bring countless bodies to their home, so they could rest in peace and thus bring a little comfort to the grieving relatives. Their job demands respect.
They shouldn’t suffer on account of two miscreants in their ranks.
While Jiang Lan couldn’t make up his mind, Master Guan seemed to resign to their fate.” Those who don’t repent, we can only save them once and then leave them to their fate.” Then he thanked Jiang Lan and turned to Guan Shui.” We have troubled Brother Jiang for too long. You should invite him to have dinner. The pay we promised should be sent to him. I will make an announcement to my team when I get back.”
Guan Shui asked with widened eyes.” What announcement?”
Master Guan answered.” Judging by our current situation, I can’t ask you to take the risk of working in the water. Now we need to put our work on hold. When the situation calms down, we will consider our next step.”
When he was speaking, he appeared calm, but his eyes were full of regrets.
Guan Shui was on the verge of crying and seemed to want to say something, but Master Guan waved him away.” Now leave.”
Guan Shui seemed to have grown root under his feet, he refused to leave.” I wouldn’t leave.”
Master Guan became angry at this defiance. Before he had time to scold him, Jiang Lan said.” Let’s find Zhang Zi first. Could you please think of places where he might go? If we could find him and figure out the cause of those turtles’ rage, I can make sure those turtles won’t target the whole body recovery team.”
Everything happens for a reason. If Zhang Zi and Zheng Yu provoked those turtles first, then those turtles’ revenge wasn’t entirely unreasonable. Who’s more, those turtles were not in the jurisdiction of the Monster Bureau. As powerful as Tao Tie, he wouldn’t consider eliminating those turtles on account of the body recovery team.
He can only help them to figure out the cause of these events and pacify those turtles to avoid any pointless bloodletting.
“Great, I will go find him.” Guan Shui seemed to be encouraged.” I know where he lives. I will first go there.”
Then he bowed to Jiang Lan.” Thanks a bunch. When the whole thing calmed down, I will invite you to dinner.”
Jiang Lan said.” Let’s find the person first.”
In such an emergency, Guan Shui thanked him and drove away with Master Guan to Zhang Zi’s home village.
Watching them drive away, Jiang Lan mumbled.” Hope they will find him. I have a bad feeling that those turtles wouldn’t show mercy to Zhang Zi.”
Looking at Jiang Lan, Ying Qiao brought out a mint candy and fed him.” You barely knew them, why did you get involved?”
Without thinking, Jiang Lan opened mouth and licked Ying Qiao’s warm fingers. Realizing what he just did, he felt a strange sensation and answered.” I just felt they are good people. It’s a pity they would suffer for someone else’s fault.”
He still remembered the proud look on Guan Shui’s face when he talked about his occupation.
It’s really a pity they might disband like this.
“Yes….” Ying Qiao watched his finger Jiang Lan just licked and without thinking, he brought this finger to his lips and briefly kissed it.
His mood suddenly became lightened.
The atmosphere suddenly became electrified.
With his tongue wrapped around the mint candy, Jiang Lan looked at the ground, feeling the warmth on his lips.
He crushed the candy between his teeth and swallowed it.
A weird feeling.
Ying Qiao didn’t notice Jiang Lan’s mood. He still lingered in that kiss. Despite being an indirect kiss, it was a breakthrough for a dragon who had never fallen in love before.
He couldn’t help thinking that if he just kissed a lip…. That feeling must be nicer.
Following his thought, his eyes moved to Jiang Lan’s pink lips.
The air seemed to get thicker. Finally Jiang Lan broke the strange silence.” Let’s get lunch.”
Jiang Lan got on Ying Qiao’car and went away.
Guan Shui drove to Zhang Zi’s home village.
Zhang Zi’s village was located on the boundary between Jiang City and Yang City.
The name of the village was Common Prosperity village. As a result of the government scheme to boost the development of the countryside, most of the village households had upgraded their home to a new two-storey house. In June, most of the young people had migrated to the big cities to work, leaving few people home to attend fields. With most of the doors and windows closed, the village seemed very quiet.
Guan Shui had been to Zhang Zi’s home before. Zhang Zi’s home, an old-styled single storey house, was near the end of his village and far from the main road. A large field and irrigation ditch was just behind his house. His family was among the poorest in the village and deep in debt. With his parents making a living in a remote city, his blind and deaf grandmother was the only one home.
Guan Shui wasn’t sure he had gone home. But his grandmother single-handedly raised him up and he worshiped his grandmother. Even a scum wouldn’t abandon his grandmother.
So he tried here first.
After parking their car, they went to his house. It was a sunny day with few people around. The two of them walked past a row of beautiful new two-storey houses and finally they caught sight of Zhang Zi’s old house.
Before they got closer, they heard Zhang Zi’s voice. He seemed to be arguing with someone, shouting “go away”, “ don’t get closer”, “I made a mistake”.
At first, Guan Shui was happy he found him at last. Then it occurred to him that something bad was happening. He exchanged a look with Master Guan. Picking up a thick tree stick by the roadside, he approached Zhang Zi’s house in silence.
Despite being an old man, Master Guan wasn’t a coward. Picking up a brick, he followed Guan Shui.
There was usually a front door and back door in this old-styled house. Master Guan Guarded the front door while Guan Shui walked towards the back door, where the sound came from.
He thought the shouting must be caused by the creditors who came to seek repayment and he was ready to call the police. But when he came to the back door, he widened his eyes in horror at the sight that greeted him there.
Patches of green fields and irrigation ditches extended to the distance and the fields were filled with rice shoots. Many of them appeared to have been trampled upon. Holding a stick, Zhang Zi stood in the middle of a field with a look of despair. Wounded, he retreated step by step. In front of him, around twenty turtles surrounded him.
With a pointed head, their eyes were fixed on Zhang Zi. The leading turtles seemed to have blood in his mouth. This blood belonged to Zhang Zi.
Zhang Zi took one step back and was followed by turtles’ one step forward. They appeared to be forcing Zhang Zi to the ditch behind him. If Zhang Zi fell into the ditch, he most probably would end up like Zheng Yu.
Guan Shui was alarmed and tried to warn Zhang Zi.” Don’t retreat, there is a ditch behind you! Don’t walk into water!”
“Brother, please help me! Call the police.” Seeing him, a look of hope appeared on Zhang Zi’s face.
Before Guan Shui had time to say anything, those turtles suddenly turned back to look at him. A horrifying emotion seemed to be in their pitch-black eyes.
Swallowing hard, Guan Shui suddenly recalled that Jiang Lan had said these turtles were smart and understood humans. Throwing away his stick, Guan Shui raised his hands and took a step back, indicating he meant no harm.
As expected, those turtles turned back to face Zhang Zi again.
Two big turtles leapt forward and bit Zhang Zi’s legs. Zhang Zi couldn’t dodge them in time. Crying in agony, he sank down and had no way to defend himself except knocking those turtles’ heads with his stick.
But those two turtles refused to release him. Instead, they tried to drag him to the ditch behind.
The rest of the turtles spread out and followed them slowly. This sight was both bizarre and horrifying to anyone witnessing it.
“Brother save me!” While being dragged away, Zhang Zi turned to look at Guan Shui. His two hands dug into the rice paddy’s soft mud, trying to stabilize him.
Grinding his teeth, Guan Shui rushed to the front of the turtles to intercept them. Then he tried to communicate with them.” Can we talk? What do you want? We can try to meet your demand.”
His speech was accompanied by a lot of gestures in case the turtles couldn’t understand him.
He was also afraid that these turtles might also choose to drag him down to the water. So he dragged on talking while hoping his master would find some extra help.
Miraculously, those turtles seemed to understand his words and stopped.
The big turtles dragging Zhang Zi released him and opened their mouths to utter a sound. Hearing this, the other turtles also turned to Guan Shui and uttered the same sound.
Guan Shui didn’t understand them, so he turned to Zhang Zi.” What on earth did you do? If you want to live, tell the truth! Otherwise prepare to die like Zheng Yu and I wouldn’t move a finger to help you!”
With an ashen face, Zhang Zi finally relented. He said.” Under the bed, that stuff is buried under my bed.”
Guan Shui finally understood: Zhang Zi took something from these turtles.
Swallowing hard, he tried to talk with them.” I, I will bring that stuff to you, Ok?”
Then he slowly moved away. Those turtles’ heads followed his movement, but didn’t attack him. Guan Shui quickened his pace and rushed into the house.
He didn’t want to waste any time. Moving directly to Zhang Zi’s room and moving the bed aside, he started to dig.
There was a patch of soil that looked fresher than the nearby soil. He started to dig with his bare hands. Master Guan joined him with a shovel.
Guan Shui lowered his voice to a whisper for fear that those turtles might hear him.” Have you contacted Jiang Lan?”
Master Guan nodded.” They are on the way here.”
While they were talking, the shovel collided with something solid. They stopped digging and used their hands to bring the solid object out. It was an iron chest.
The chest wasn’t locked. They opened it and found it to be filled with ashes. Guan Shui stuck his hand into these ashes and touched a cold object. Bringing it out, he saw it was a jade turtle.
This was a beautiful piece of object that shows great workmanship. With the size of a basketball, it was cold to touch but if you put your hand on it for a while, it will turn warm.
Anyone could see it must be expensive.
For a poor man like Zhang Zi, it was beyond his reach. Needless to say where he got it from.
Taking a deep breath, Guan Shui brought this jade turtle out with great care.” This thing is yours?”
Those turtles suddenly became agitated and two of them moved closer and watched Guan Shui with intimidation in their eyes.
Afraid, Guan Shui gently placed the jade turtle down and took a few steps back.
These two turtles dragged the jade turtles away and moved to the ditch.
Before Guan Shui had time to relax, he found the other turtles still clinging to Zhang Zi, refusing to release him.
Guan Shui was confused.” It’s not enough?”
Master Guan seemed to recall something. He asked Zhang Zi with a stern look.” There were two of these jade turtles? Zheng Yu had one?”
Zhang Zi nodded with an ashen face.