296. Mahal Attempts to Report Little Xun
Tarico paused. From the look in her eyes, he thought she was angry.
She didn’t mind showing her anger, saying, “Am I wrong? You are not as enthusiastic as before. What? You think I’m difficult to get, so you change your target?”
To her surprise, Tarico was really angry.
He abruptly grabbed her shoulders and pressed her against the door with the eyes of a furious beast.
She was caught off guard and dumbstruck, staring at him with eyes wide open.
“Tarico, what do you want? Are you out of your mind?”
Sorrow replaced anger in Tarico’s eyes. “Do you treat me as a tool? A tool for your pleasure? You have a man you like, but he doesn’t like you, so you use me to relieve your boredom?”
Jin Xiaoyu seemed to understand what he meant.
“I have never used you as a tool for pleasure. I just want to follow the camel team across the desert. I will do whatever your camel team wants. You have always been taking care of me.”
Tarico sneered, “So, in your words, I ask for it?”
Jin Xiaoyu didn’t know how to explain.
After a while, she said, “I’m done with Xiao Baoshan. I won’t dream of being with him anymore. He has never belonged to me.”
“But you are still thinking of him. One’s love, like a lotus root, linked by fibres though divided.”
Jin Xiaoyu smiled, “You are getting better at speaking the language of Zhongyuan Area.”
Tarico got angry and let go of her. “You’re always like this. You only care about Xiao Baoshan. Who else do you care about?”
Jin Xiaoyu thought about it carefully. It was true that she didn’t care about many people.
Except Little Xun.
However, she felt a little sad when she saw that Tarico was upset.
She wasn’t a heartless person. When Tarico gave her six sheep, she was touched.
Jin Xiaoyu really didn’t know how to explain their relationship.
She thought, ‘Forget it. I will have to support myself and live frugally, so that I don’t need him to take care of me.
A man expects to be rewarded when he treats a woman well.’
She turned to leave.
However, Tarico suddenly grabbed her hand and pulled her into his arms.
He leaned against her shoulder and said, “Maybe I’m asking for it. The worse part is that I want to treat you well even though I know you don’t like me.”
His words stunned Jin Xiaoyu, who was overwhelmed by his deep affection.
Did he actually love her without asking for anything in return?
This time, she didn’t push him away. She just stood there in his arms, wondering.
When the camel team set off, Little Xun went to see them off.
This time, Xiao Baocheng and Xiao Baoyang accompanied Little Xun. The children followed the camel team for a long time.
Until they couldn’t keep up with the camel team, the children doubled back, bouncing along the way.
On the way, Little Xun saw Mahal.
Mahal was riding on a horse. He was going to Baoning city on business.
Seeing the children running towards him, Mahal couldn’t help staring at Little Xun again.
Little Xun had an air different from other kids. Mahal had bought a New Year painting of Zhongyuan Area, and Little Xun looked like the fortune boy in the painting, fair and chubby.
As the children passed by Mahal, they suddenly scattered.
Mahal had a bad reputation in the neighborhood, and even children were afraid of him.
Mahal let out a snort.
He thought to himself, ‘I don’t care about you filthy kids.’
Usually after Mahal got to the county and did his business, he would find a small restaurant for a drink.
On that day, there were a few people from Zhongyuan Area in the restaurant. They somehow talked about the imperial court.
Someone said, “I heard that the north is in a chaos. A city has been lost and the refugees have nowhere to escape. They all fled to the deep mountains and get devoured by tigers.”
“Is it true?”
“Definitely. The imperial court doesn’t care about the lives and deaths of their own family. It’s fine that they don’t fight. Now they don’t even take in refugees.”
“Is imperial court so stupid? If they fight, there will be casualties, but if they don’t fight, there will be casualties as well. What do they want?”
“They want a peaceful imperial city, and they want a stable court.”
“I heard that the ministers who insisted on fighting were dismissed from their positions. The most pitiful one was Prime Minister Xun, whose family was executed because he took a firm stand in fighting. Some righteous men rescued him and his grandson, but…”
“The imperial guards found them. The prime minister died, and his grandson is missing.”
“My goodness. How old is the grandson?”
“He’s only seven or eight years old. If he is dead, the family will have no descendants. Now the people in Zhongyuan Area are angry about this, but they don’t dare to speak up, because that will cost their heads.”
In the beginning, Mahal didn’t pay attention to the conversation when they talked about the imperial court.
The Imperial City was far away. Even if there was a war, they would not get involved.
But later he heard about the prime minister’s grandson, a seven-or eight-year-old boy.
He somehow thought of Little Xun.
He listened carefully for a while and calculated. According to the time line, Little Xun came at the right time. Otherwise, why didn’t he come with the earliest group of refugees? He came after the prime minister died.
It was possible that Little Xun was the grandson of the prime minister.
The more Mahal thought about it, the more excited he became.
If that was the case, didn’t Squire Liu and the Xiao family commit a crime of sheltering the criminal?
If he reported them to the local government, they would be thrown into prison.
And Tarico, who treated Little Xun very well. If the imperial court investigated, he would definitely be punished. And Mahal would be the head of the tribe.
Mahal came out of the restaurant in excitement and was about to go to the government office.
But before he got there, he suddenly patted his head.
He almost made a big mistake. The government office was in the charge of the Sixth King, who was close to the Seventh King. The Seventh King was on good terms with the Liu and Xiao families. He came here to report, could he win?
He might get beaten up instead.
If he wanted to report to the government, he had to get out of Baoning city and go to other places.
Mahal thought of this and immediately returned to the tribe.
“Why do you come back so early today? Usually it takes four or fives days for you to come back if you go to the county for business. You have been away for only three days.”
Tandi asked curiously.
Mahal was still very excited. “Something big happened in the tribe.”
“What is it?” Tandi shivered in fear.
“Do you remember the little boy that came to the tribe recently? He is with his elder sister. The little boy might be the grandson of a prisoner and he is wanted. If I go report him, the people from Zhongyuan Area will not be able to stay in the tribe. They will be thrown into the prison and they might get killed. Even Tarico wouldn’t be able to escape.”
“Really?” Tandi was surprised and suspicious.
Mahal told her what he had heard in the restaurant.
Tandi couldn’t help but ask, “But how do you know that the little boy is the grandson of the former prime minister? If you make a mistake, you will be beaten up.”
Mahal said, “Of course I won’t make a rash decision. If the little boy is really the grandson of the prime minister, I will go and ask for information. I can always find a portrait of him. Once I see the portrait, I will know.”
Danny asked again, “Where are you going to see his portrait?”
“I… I’ll go to Beihui city.”
“But you have to cross the desert in order to go to Beihui city. If you go alone, you might die on the way.”
Mahal thought about it and agreed. He said, “Then I will go to Da’an county. In short, I can’t report him in Baoning city. Otherwise, the Seventh King will protect him. If the little boy is wanted by the imperial court, the government will definitely have his portrait. I will check with the government office in Da’an county.”
Danny encouraged Mahal to go to Da’an county.
Da’an county was closer, and he just needed to ride a horse there without crossing the desert.
Danny said excitedly, “It’d be great if the little boy is really a criminal. This year our family has suffered a lot in the tribe. No man would like to marry Guri. If Tarico could be taken down, our family would… get the upper hand again. Hurry up and pack. Let’s set off as soon as possible.”
The north of the imperial court had been temporarily stabilized.
But this is just an illusion. The imperial court was deceiving itself and the people.
Their so-called stability was achieved by giving away Heihe city and shutting the refugees out. Now Heihe city was in the charge of Beiqing, and the refugees no longer came to Linglong county to cause trouble. All of them fled to the deep mountains.
Beiqing did not continue to go south, the refugees did not cause any more trouble, and the ministers did not dare to remonstrate. Li Chengkun thought that the situation was stable, the peace of Great Qi Dynasty was restored, and the commoners should mind their own business.
Currently, only a few people of noble aspirations remained indignant. They were extremely disappointed with the imperial court, but they could only make some doggerel to joke about the current situation.
Currents were surging under the calm surface.
For instance, Yan Ziyan had fled into the mountains.
Yan Ziyan fled to the mountains with more than a thousand refugees, and they didn’t ever come out.
The people outside thought that they had been starved to death in the mountains or devoured by the tigers. Actually, they led a good life there. There were wild fruits in the mountains, and they could hunt animals. There were fish in the deep ponds, and there were various kinds of mushroom which they could pick and eat.
Later, the refugees found a secluded place in the mountain and built wooden houses, forming a small village. It was like a life in heaven. There was only one narrow winding path connecting the outside and the village, which made it easy for them to defend themselves and difficult for invaders to attack. There was no fear of soldiers coming in to catch them.
The villagers were very grateful to Yan Ziyan because he led them into the mountains, and the village was called Yanhuo Village.
However, they were in the mountains after all. Although the primitive life was free, it was insufficient of resources. They needed a large amount of clothes, cloth, and kitchen utensils, which could not be made from wood.