Chapter 12: Gave Her Away
Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
Zhao Lan, Eldest Brother Shao, and his family had all heard about Little Bei’s disappearance, but none of them helped to find her.
On the other hand, a few families close to them in the village, as well as Li Zhaodi and the rest, came to help when they heard about it.
Shao Qiyang asked Shao Nan to stay at home and watch Shao Zhong instead of going with them, in case he ended up losing these two kids on top of the one already missing.
Great Eastern Village was filled with the sound of barking dogs and villagers calling out for Little Bei.
They searched till midnight in the vicinity of Great Eastern Village, but there was still no trace of Little Bei.
Since they couldn’t find her, everyone went home one after another.
Mu Jingzhe changed her flashlight battery. She wanted to continue searching, but she suddenly heard Shao Nan’s hostile voice.
“Did you do something to Little Bei while we were away?”
Shao Qiyang frowned. “Little Nan, don’t talk nonsense.”
Although the villagers hadn’t said anything in front of Mu Jingzhe, they couldn’t help but suspect her behind her back.
Shao Qiyang had also had the same thought.
It couldn’t be helped. Mu Jingzhe was a stepmother after all.
“I’m not spouting nonsense. I was wondering why she was suddenly treating us well. It seems like she did it on purpose. She wanted us to trust her so that she could do bad things.”
Shao Nan’s eyes were filled with hatred. “What did you do to Little Bei? Return Little Bei to us quickly.”
He had never trusted Mu Jingzhe to begin with, and after hearing the villagers gossiping, he exploded.
The bond between the twins made him feel especially bad. His heart panicked, and the more he panicked, the more he lost control.
“I didn’t do anything.” Mu Jingzhe took a deep breath.
Even though she had thought of herself as just a nanny, the interactions they’d had over the past few days hadn’t been fake. At the moment, she felt very uncomfortable with being suspected.
“Believe it or not, I didn’t do anything to hurt Little Bei and I wouldn’t do that in the future either.”
Upon saying that, Mu Jingzhe left to look for Little Bei.
The most important thing now was finding her.
However, Mu Jingzhe and Shao Qiyang searched for an entire night but still didn’t find her. They searched the pond at the back of the mountain and everywhere else they could think of. They even searched the Small Eastern Village, but to no avail.
Shao Dong and Shao Xi also went out to look for her, unbeknownst to Mu Jingzhe, but they found nothing too.
“No, none of us found her.”
The next day, Shao Nan saw Mu Jingzhe, who had been looking for Shao Bei the entire night, with bloodshot eyes. A trace of regret flashed across his face. However, he didn’t say anything.
“It might not be of any use to search so blindly. I’m thinking of reporting this directly to the police station,” Mu Jingzhe told Shao Qiyang.
“You want to file a police report?”
“Yes.” Mu Jingzhe nodded affirmatively. “I’ll report the case. You can ask around in the area.”
Shao Qiyang hesitated for a moment before finally nodding. “Okay.”
Mu Jingzhe had just stepped out of the gate when she ran into Zhao Lan.
Zhao Lan kept yawning. When she saw Mu Jingzhe, her expression immediately turned stiff. “You still haven’t found Little Bei? Let me warn you: If you don’t find her, I won’t let you off.”
When she saw someone coming over out of the corner of her eye, her tone became pitiful. “What is going on? My good granddaughter, what’s going to happen to you if this continues? I’m so worried.”
Mu Jingzhe looked out of the corner of her eyes and sneered. “Worried? So worried you snored in your sleep? Or did you worry in your dreams? What a joke.”
Zhao Lan looked behind Mu Jingzhe’s back and grabbed a middle-aged woman who was passing by.
“Did you see her attitude? She sounds so justified when she’s the one who lost my granddaughter. That’s why I said that stepmothers can’t—”
Along the way, Mu Jingzhe met many villagers. They were all concerned about whether or not Little Bei had been found. Some even said they would help look for her.
When they arrived at the village entrance, upon hearing that Mu Jingzhe was going to report the case, one of the women who had helped look for Little Bei last night spoke hesitantly.
“Jingzhe, let me tell you something. I’m not sure if it’s true, though.”
“My daughter said that she saw your mother-in-law carrying Little Bei out of the village yesterday. However, she’s only four years old. I’m afraid she might have seen wrong or remembered it wrong.”
“My mother-in-law?” Mu Jingzhe’s face turned cold. “Did she say when she saw her?”
“She couldn’t clearly tell us the details…”
At that moment, another auntie also spoke up. “Last night, my father-in-law also said that he saw your mother-in-law take Little Bei out, but he has poor hearing and eyesight. I can’t be sure either.”
“I’ll find out when I ask her.”
Mu Jingzhe thanked them and turned around.
On the way back, she picked up a suitable stick.
“Zhao Lan, where did you take Little Bei?”
A hint of panic flashed across the eyes of Zhao Lan, who was washing her face. However, she immediately calmed down.
“What kind of nonsense are you talking about? I didn’t take Little Bei.”
Mu Jingzhe didn’t waste any time. She directly struck the pot with the stick.
With a deafening sound, the ceramic vat that had been fine for many years was instantly deformed.
Zhao Lan screamed.
Mu Jingzhe pointed the stick at her.
“Zhao Lan, I don’t have time to talk nonsense with you. You should know what will happen to you if this stick strikes you. I’ll ask you again: Where did you take Little Bei?”
Zhao Lan trembled and was about to shout for her eldest son when she heard Mu Jingzhe shout.
“He’s no match for me. Do you want me to cripple his other leg too?”
After Old Man Shao had passed away, Eldest Brother Shao had succeeded Zhao Lan and farmed in order to raise his younger siblings. He had suffered a lot and even injured his leg later on. As he didn’t have the money to treat it, his leg had gone limp.
Zhao Lan had always felt guilty about her eldest son, which was why she had favored him.
Upon hearing Mu Jingzhe’s threat, Zhao Lan was shocked. “Son, don’t come over.”
She looked into Mu Jingzhe’s eyes and knew that she was telling the truth. She was afraid that Mu Jingzhe would hit her eldest son. Thus, feeling justified because she was the child’s grandmother, she directly admitted to it.
“Yes, I gave her away. I’m her grandmother. What’s wrong with me giving her away?”
“Gave her away? Who did you give her to?”
“Why do you care who I gave her to? You didn’t give birth to Little Bei. You’re not fit to…”
At this point, Zhao Lan saw Shao Qiyang and the four kids behind him.
They were staring at her in shock and fury.
Zhao Lan was angered by their gazes. “What are you looking at? Stop looking for her. She’s just a girl—”
Her last words were cut short by Mu Jingzhe’s wooden stick.
“If you don’t want to die, tell me honestly where you took Little Bei.”
Mu Jingzhe’s bloodshot eyes flashed with killing intent.
A moment later, Mu Jingzhe left the Shao Family’s main house with a dark expression. The courtyard was filled with panic and Zhao Lan’s screams.
Hearing that something was wrong, the villagers came to inquire and found out that the commotion was a result of Mu Jingzhe hitting Zhao Lan’s legs because she had given Little Bei away.
Zhao Lan’s legs weren’t broken, but Mu Jingzhe had said that if they couldn’t find Little Bei, she would come back and break her legs.
“That’s my granddaughter. So what if I gave her away? Who does she think she is? How dare she hit me! I’m her mother-in-law!”
Zhao Lan cursed, but no one answered her.
Seeing that something was wrong, Zhao Lan started weeping.
“I became the villain because of the other four children. Qihai is gone, but he left behind five children. With my eldest son’s leg in that state, although I have the heart, I do not have the strength to raise the children. It’s not possible if only I and Qiyang make an effort.
“Qiyang still has to get married in the future. If he keeps helping to raise these five children, how is he going to get a wife? I thought that it would help reduce the burden on the family, but it pained my heart too. She’s my biological granddaughter, but I sent her there to allow her to lead a good life.”