Ch77 – Inquiry
Edited by: Dust Bunny
“What makes you say he has a bad temper?” Gu Xizhou appeared as if he was just asking casually.
“There’s a hoodlum in our village.
I don’t know his name, but we all call him Xu San’er.
He used to constantly steal things from people in our village, but since we’re all old neighbors, every time he was caught, he would at most get a scolding.
However, he once stole something from that butcher’s home.
“Don’t you think he was courting death? That butcher has a big temper.
Although he didn’t take his small life after he caught him, he lifted his butcher’s knife and brought it down on Xu San’er, directly chopping off one of his fingers.”
Gu Xizhou asked, “Did you see this with your own eyes?”
“Of course, I personally saw it,” the woman spoke like she still had lingering trauma.
“At first, that finger could still be reattached, but in the end that butcher immediately chopped up the finger into three parts with two cuts.
After that, Xu San’er’s finger couldn’t be reconnected.
Although her words were frightening, the woman clearly treated this as a sort of idle conversation topic.
Regardless of what Gu Xizhou and the others asked, she would answer very clearly with all of the details.
Of course, some of these particulars were rather inconsistent.
Gu Xizhou spoke after the lady finished her story, hoping she could tell them something about the missing elderly lady.
Unfortunately, this lady only vaguely caught sight of the elderly woman as she passed by the vegetable booth.
Gu Xizhou asked her if she remembered any more details, the woman could only shake her head and say she didn’t know.
“Gu Ran, let’s go, ba.
We’ll ask the others.” Si Yu held a chart that recorded every person’s full name, age, and number of people in the family in Citrine Village.
Gu Xizhou nodded.
They’d received some useful clues from this vegetable seller lady.
Along the way they asked several stall keepers, but since it happened long ago, many of their memories were unclear.
Moreover, the elderly lady disappeared at noon.
These vegetable farmers were all cooking at home just like Old Man Mo.
Only that first woman had been occupied that day and had an early meal, and she was balancing the accounts and watching the booth at that time.
Gu Xizhou and the others walked to the door of the butcher’s shop.
Chunks of meat hung scattered inside, and several pieces of pork chops, pig trotters, and other meat were already placed on a tray.
A big and strong man sat on a chair inside the shop and noticed them come in.
He glanced at them and clicked his tongue, waving his hand at the flies buzzing around.
“Hello, do you mind if we ask you about something?” asked Lin Hao.
The big and strong man seemed like he didn’t hear Lin Hao.
After they repeated it five or six times, the man lost his patience and responded.
“Didn’t you already talk with the landlord? I’m moving out in five days.
Don’t come and rush me every day.”
Lin Hao saw the man’s impatience and the bloody apron he was wearing and grew nervous.
For a while he was unable to say anything.
Gu Xizhou and Si Yu looked at each other.
Gu Xizhou looked cautiously around the butcher’s shop.
Pieces of meat hung outside the shop.
Inside, there was a small room painted black.
It looked very small inside.
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“Isn’t it because Grandpa Mo won’t agree to move out? He’s afraid that his wife will return, and she won’t be able to find him,” said Si Yu.
“Tch, that old man? Why don’t you just look for his children? That house isn’t in his name anyway.”
“How do you know the house isn’t Uncle Mo’s?”
“Eh…” The man was a little startled when he heard Si Yu’s question.
He smiled awkwardly and said, “I heard them talking.
They came here to buy meat and chatted a bit.
People mostly chat about the relocation thing, and I hear a lot, so I know the general situation.”
Then did anything unusual occur that day?”
I was cooking upstairs, so I didn’t see anyone,” said the butcher unhurriedly.
He used a cloth to softly wipe several different knives and placed them on the chopping board.
Then, two women came by to purchase meat.
The two didn’t interact much with the butcher.
They simply stated how much meat they wanted.
Inside the shop, the man easily chopped off a block of meat and weighed it on a scale.
Unexpectedly, it was the perfect amount.
“Really amazing, so accurate,” said Gu Xizhou casually.
The man in the butcher’s shop divided the meat into plastic bags and handed it to the two women while accepting the money.
“It’s my livelihood.
If you sold this every day like me, I guarantee you could pick up a lump of meat and weigh it in your hand to know how heavy it is.
“I don’t have that ability.”
The group stood in the butcher’s shop for a while, but the boss didn’t seem to have any useful information.
Before they left, Gu Xizhou pointed at the small compartment inside the shop and asked, “Boss, do you put all the meat inside that small room?”
The man grinned and shook his head.
“No, there’s a meat grinder inside.
I’d hate to put it outside for it to get in the way, so it’s in there.”
Gu Xizhou gave an “en” and quickly left.
One by one, the group knocked on doors and asked people whether they had seen the old lady on the day of her disappearance.
“This is the last one.
If we can’t find anything, then we can only wait for it to come to us,” Xiao Nan said, frustrated.
They had yet to knock on the door when they heard the sound of a woman’s sharp yelling from the yard.
The people inside seemed to be fighting, and very viciously at that.
The door suddenly opened, and a thin and petite man ran out from inside.
He ran very quickly and held something white in his hands.
He bumped into Lin Hao at the door and then disappeared like a wisp of smoke, leaving no trace.
Immediately following that, a curvy woman came out to pursue him, waving a kitchen knife in the air.
She stopped at the doorway and put her hands on her hips as she panted with rage and rained curses on him.
“Xu San’er, do you want to fucking die? You dare to steal things from Laoniang’s home, from under Laoniang’s nose! You son of a bitch, don’t let Laoniang see you again!”
“Damn bastard! Serves you right to never get a wife! If anyone married you, it would be the result of several lifetimes of rotten luck! Dead pervert! Wait for my man to come back and see if he doesn’t beat you to death!
The woman was very agitated, and she cursed until she was out of breath, angrily spitting on the ground.
“Pei, Xu San’er, don’t let me see you.
If you let me see you again, I’ll chop you to pieces.”
Hearing the woman’s final sentence, Gu Xizhou and the others finally understood why the woman was so angry.
Thieves were despised, and panty thieves even more so.
The woman swore for ages before she noticed Gu Xizhou and the others standing at the side.
She stared blankly, and then smiled at them as if she recognized them.
Her voice was very tender, as if you could squeeze water from it, while still being cute.
“Street office comrades, ah? Why are you visiting my house, is there something wrong, ah? Is it to explain when the demolition fee will come?”
Lin Hao robotically recovered his soul from the woman’s onslaught of profanity and quietly explained, “It’s not that.
We just want to ask you about something.”
The woman’s name was Wang Chunjiao, and she was considered to be the prettiest lady in the village.
She had a well-developed figure and good features.
She was a foreigner who came over after marrying.
After listening to Lin Hao, she was unexpectedly direct.
“If there’s something you want to ask then ask, ba.”
“Did you see Old Lady He on the day she disappeared half a year ago?”
Wang Chunjiao fell into thought, wrinkling her brows.
You’re better off asking me about that thing that just ran away!”
“Why do you say that?”
“Xu San’er messes around every day, and he doesn’t have a job.
He steals things on our road every day, and steals vegetables, too.
At noon, every family returns home to cook, and my husband says that he has stumbled across him stealing vegetables from the stalls several times.”
Wang Chunjiao lifted the kitchen knife as she spoke slowly.
“Where does he live?” asked Gu Xizhou.
Wang Chunjiao pointed ahead to a decrepit house nearby and said, “There, if anywhere.
That house is his.”
“That house is habitable?”
“Xu San’er idles about all day long.
Having a house at all is pretty good.” Wang Chunjiao clearly despised Xu San’er, and she showed a look of disdain when she spoke.
Gu Xizhou and the others hadn’t thought that the house with a collapsed roof was occupied, so they thought that this was the last family.
After they questioned the woman, the sky had already darkened.
Xu San’er had just fled, and it was unlikely that he would return for a while.
They could only go look for Xu San’er again tomorrow.
After running around all day, Yu Yizhou seemed to enjoy this kind of life.
When they were eating dinner, Yu Yizhou ate the most.
He stuffed himself until his belly was round and bulging.
Lin Hao and Xiao Nan both felt like it was odd.
This newcomer’s ability to adapt was a little too exaggerated.
Although he was sometimes scared, it was clear that this guy usually had a smile on his face, rather than being afraid.
“This is the first time we’ve seen a newcomer like you.
Your ability to accept all of this is very good.”
Yu Yizhou scratched his head and explained, “You don’t know how long it’s been since I’ve seen the sun.
I got stomach cancer.
I can’t eat, I can’t walk, and I lie in bed every day with my life suspended by an IV.
It’s simply my dream to have a healthy body.”
Fang Zhi nodded as he listened to Yu Yizhou.
He should be the one who best understands Yu Yizhou among the group.
Before, his mother was sick in the hospital for a very long time.
He saw with his own eyes how the disease tortured his mother until she was no longer human.
After eating, Yu Yizhou went to the room and found a washcloth and basin.
He sought out Fang Zhi, who looked the best, and said, “Um… Xiao Fang, can you go downstairs with me to get water?”
Fang Zhi glanced at him.
Considering the time, he didn’t refuse Yu Yizhou’s request.
Gu Xizhou and Si Yu went down together with them to wash up.
The demolition office was divided into two floors.
The top floor had the temporary dormitories and the bottom layer was their office as well as a small courtyard that had a kitchen and a public toilet.
After washing up, they stayed together to discuss for a moment, but there was no useful information.
Fang Zhi slept on a chair in the room while Gu Xizhou and Si Yu slept on the bed.
The main reason was that they didn’t want to share a room with the others.
After all, they were still unfamiliar.
The next day, Gu Xizhou and the others had yet to get up when they heard the sound of someone walking around outside the balcony.
It sounded like Yu Yizhou.
Yu Yizhou seemed to be brushing his teeth when he suddenly shouted and pounded frantically on Gu Xizhou’s group’s door.
Inside the room, the three people got out of bed and exchanged glances.
Si Yu walked over to the door and pulled open the window curtains to take a look at the situation outside.
Yu Yizhou had lost his head out of fear and his face was pale.
“There’s so much blood in the courtyard!”
Following the sound of Yu Yizhou’s shrieking, the others also came out of their rooms.
Si Yu opened the door and walked to the edge of the balcony.
He first looked at the people who came out.
Lin Hao wasn’t there.
Then, he looked down…
There was blood all over the ground in the courtyard, but there was no corpse.
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