LDP – Ch 70

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TLDP C070. The Missing Women Occurrences

Zhang Zixuan asked some questions and I replied with vague answers over and over. Since he knew that I didn’t want to answer truthfully, he stopped asking.

After a half hour or so, we set out, forming a team with a grand and majestic convoy to the village. When we had arrived at the village, we picked a relatively flat ground to set up a dozen of mobile rooms. Many villagers stopped and watched us. It was really like dragons and snakes had been mixed here (good and bad people). Some people’s clothes were simple and humble, which evidently were the local farmers, while others were clad in attractive attire, of which were similar to us, outsiders.

We were the first ones who openly placed mobile rooms in the village. With these high-profile actions, what could Zhang Zixuan want to demonstrate? It’s clearly to tell everyone here, that since this place was the target operation for the Zhang Family, it was for their own good that they should rush out to leave!

There were a total of 12 mobile rooms, of which 1 was for preparing food, 2 for Cheng Dong’s team, as Zhang Zixuan and I also each had one. The remaining 4 were for the bodyguards. Because they had to take night watch in turns, four mobile rooms were adequate for them to lodge in.

The furnishing in these mobile room’s were that of superior quality. The rich were truly different. Even such a mobile room from boards could be designed to their preferred models.

There was only one bed in my mobile room, however, they only arranged a bunk bed in Xu Xiaoling’s mobile room. So I said to Xu Xiaoling, “Big Sis Xiaoling, resting in that bunk bed is very uncomfortable, err… should the two of us squeeze in here?”

“Who wants to sleep with you?”

“You want… ah. Cheng Dong and his girlfriend sleep together. Do you want to stay with Wang Jianhua? I don’t agree!”

Xu Xiaoling glared at me and said, “Cheng Dong stays with Wang Jianhua, and I’ll be with Dou Dou.” Dou Dou was Cheng Dong’s girlfriend.

“But, the bunk is truly uncomfortable. So be it, you sleep in my room, and I’ll go to sleep on the bunk bed.” I put on my loving and concerned expression.

Xu Xiaoling then replied in a gentle voice, “How would I be so unreasonable? It’s all right, having a place to sleep is already very good. You sleep on your bed, if you really want to find someone to sleep with, then go to Cheng Dong.”

After having lunch, Xu Xiaoling and the others went out to collect the antiquities while I followed her.

Zhang Zixuan sent several bodyguards out to collect information and inquire news.

I walk side by side with Xu Xiaoling, making the man named Wang Jianhua furious, as we chatted merrily before we arrived at the first family on the east side of the village. The house was very small and dilapidated. After knocking on the door, a gray-haired old woman opened the door as Xu Xiaoling then politely spoke, “Hello Grandma, we are from Qiling City Museum, this is my credential documents, please look over it.” Xu Xiaoling handed over her employee ID.

The old woman spoke, “I can’t read any words. Do you want to rent my house? I am old and can’t stand noisy sounds, plus the house is small, so if you won’t rent my house, you can go elsewhere. But if you want to collect antiques, you can have a look.”

“Grandma, we want to see your home antiques, and it will be collected for the museum. So we can preserve it inside and the people from later generation can see the well-preserved antiques.” Xu Xiaoling spoke to her gently.

The grandma invited us into her house and then took out a yellowish rice bowl and said, “This is the only one left, I’ve been using this one to eat rice for decades, a while back there was someone willing to give 5000 Yuan, but I didn’t want to sell it.”

Cheng Dong who has always brought with him special white gloves, carefully took the small bowl, scrutinized it up with a magnifying glass, and continuously observed it for a minute before he finally nodded and said, “It’s the blue and white porcelain from the Emperor Cheng Hua era of the Ming Dynasty and was produced for the royal kiln. Its value is extremely high, however, since it’s not well preserved, the nominal value is greatly reduced. I think that this bowl should be around 200,000 Yuan, you can take a look at it too.”

After the grandma heard Cheng Dong’s words, she was greatly shocked and almost jumped, “Young man, did you say my bowl worth 200,000?

Since I was afraid the old woman was too excited, I then quickly said, “Grandma, this is only an initial estimate, you don’t need to be excited first, but I am also very curious as to why are you so surprised?”

The grandma answered with trembling voices, “I, my family previously had three pieces of antiques, but the other two had been sold for 8,000 Yuan. The other two are porcelain jars, and had the same pattern with this bowl.”

I was really speechless. This grandma definitely had been deceived by a slick and unscrupulous trader.

Xu Xiaoling also heard about it and spoke, “Grandma, we are the official party so we will absolutely be unlike those illegal traders who absolutely cheat on people.”

After Xu Xiaoling and the other finished with the appraisals, they finally gave the 220,000 price, and asked whether the old woman was willing to sell the bowl or not. The excited old woman repeatedly gave her consents and Xu Xiaoling then chatted with the old woman who told her that she had a son. His son then moved to a city to find himself a wife and then had a little baby girl. 10 years ago, they got into a car accident when they were on the road to celebrate New Year’s here. Her son and daughter-in-law died in the accident, leaving the only surviving granddaughter alone. This grandma took the granddaughter and brought her up. However, her granddaughter had been mysteriously missing for 2 months ago, almost making her blind due to crying. On the other hand, there were also many missing women in the village, even some women from outside the village also went missing. The old woman then exhorted Xu Xiaoling and Dou Dou to be very careful.

The only missing people were only women? Were there any traffickers here? It couldn’t be, right? Everyone would have known, since there were many good and bad people in this village right now, this matter certainly would arouse their suspicions. Then, had they conducted any investigation? So I asked, “Grandma, you don’t report it to the authorities?”

“No, ah, our village here is very remote, how can there be any police? However, the village’s chief has organized some young people to find her many times, but they did not find anything, and we couldn’t throw the blame to outsiders. Also, because the girls usually missing at night and all of those outsiders never go out in the evening.” The grandma replied.

The villagers couldn’t find any clues? It’s strange. Could it be caused by some evil spirits?

This issue couldn’t be this simple it seemed. To prevent Xu Xiaoling from encountering any dangers, I must raise my vigilance! Had I known about this issue earlier, I would have asked Big Sister to come here, since if Big Sister was here, she would be a great help certainly.

When we had returned back to the mobile room, I spoke in a deep tone to Xu Xiaoling, “Big Sis Xiaoling, this place is very dangerous, it’s really not good. You must stay in my room, and don’t worry, I will do nothing to you.”

“No, Xiaolong, I’ll try not to go out at night.”

When the night came I moved a chair and slept in front of Xu Xiaoling’s room’s door. I had long been accustomed to this way of sleeping. Maybe due to my strong physical reasons, it was not a problem for me to not sleep for 2 consecutive days.

Although there were five bodyguards with guns on patrol at night, I still didn’t feel relieved, and personally guarded Xu Xiaoling’s door.

About this frequently missing women issue, there were three possibilities according to my inferences.

First, it was done by the traffickers, but what kinds of traffickers could do this without any traces and being found?

Secondly, since those women were out at night, they could have been bewitched by the ghosts, and perhaps went toward the remote mountain.

Thirdly, some beasts preyed on them, but this possibility was too small. If beasts were the culprit, it was impossible to kill those women directly in one strike. Those women should have had the opportunity to scream for help. However, no villagers had heard any scream, and neither did they find any blood.

So the second possibility was relatively big. But since Xu Xiaoling had always worn the talisman I had given her. No ghosts dared to approach her. However, for safety reasons, I still had to personally keep watch here to feel relieved.

It was very fortunate that Xu Xiaoling didn’t have the habit to go out at night. Therefore, I sat there until 3:00 AM the next day. I then stood up and exercised, took jogged for a while and also did 500 push-ups, making those bodyguards stare straight at me.

Just when I had finished the push-ups and was about to meditate, Ma Dehua then came out as he the spoke to me, “Xiaolong, you’re really a hard worker eh. How about honing and practicing some moves?”

“This is exactly what I’ve been waiting for!”

I practiced for a while with Ma Dehua. Despite being constantly oppressed by him, I also got a lot of experience. Experts truly came out after oppressively being trained.

In the daytime, Zhang Zixuan chatted with me and said that he wanted me to scour the mountain and look for some clues. He guessed that ancient tomb should be nearby and that the villagers should also know the location, but refused to say it. Therefore, while he was looking for means to pry it out from the villagers, I, on the other hand, should go to scout the mountain.

Since he just said so, how could I not agree? I could only nod helplessly and then looked for Xu Xiaoling and told her to be careful.

Xu Xiaoling touched my face and said, “It’s you that must be careful.”

“Relax, haven’t you seen my abilities? I’ll try to come back early and accompany you for dinner.” I replied to her and laughed.

****

Zhang Zixuan arranged to have the Bagua Chain Palm’s expert—Uncle Jiang to go with me to explore the mountains and to cooperate and protect each other.

This small village was surrounded by 3 mountains. When I had arrived on one of the mountains I was quite dumbfounded, how the hell would I know where those tombs were?

I suddenly remembered about Feng Nian. If she was here, she would certainly be able to quickly find the tomb’s location, and if not her, then Miss Jiang could also able to do this since she was the one who found General Long Chen’s tomb. But, I think that this girl now should have become Chen Haotian’s wife, so where would she have the time to help me here? As for Feng Nian, I even wished that I could avoid her and keep distant from her. So how would I take the initiative to find her?

We aimlessly traversed around the mountains in disorderly directions before Uncle Jiang asked, “Xiaolong, I’ve read that “ghost blows out the light” story where the lead character used Feng-Shui to look for the ancient tomb, but the way I see it, it seems that we are only aimlessly wandering.”

“Uncle, you also read that novel? But you also know that it’s only a novel. Besides, I’m a Taoist disciple, not a grave robber, so I will not have that kind of skill.”

As a matter of fact, unknowingly pulling this issue out was really wonderful. Uncle Jiang was also truly a wonderful good. He’s more than 40 years old, but he also loved to read such tomb raiding novels. He keeps talking along the way to me about various plots in raiding the tombs in various novels. Saying that every time he read it, it made his blood boiled, and longed to personally experience it. He also said that if I were on the case to subdue ghosts again, he asked me to take him along since he desperately wanted to experience it.

Since we had openly talked, we became closer, so I asked a number of questions about martial arts. On the other hand, Uncle Jiang was also not stingy and explained to me in details about some skills. Saying that if I was interested, I could learn his Bagua Chain Palm. Of which, I was certainly willing to accept his offer and promised him right away.

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