To the south of Xing Ye Village, there was a small mountain densely packed with trees. The villagers often called it a hill.
Night fell. The sky was pitch black, but shouts echoed unceasingly over the hill. The village chief, w.a.n.g Shoumin, lead over thirty people to search for Li Qingran. A bunch of torches shone like midday, but no matter how much they called and overturned every stone, four hours pa.s.sed without finding anything.
“Village chief.” Some one slowly ran in this direction and wheezed, “S-Still can’t find that child from the Li family.”
w.a.n.g Shoumin sighed heavily when he heard that, his face full of disappointment and melancholic worry.
“I heard the child has been missing for three or four days. Maybe he’s already dead!”
“Dog s.h.i. t!” w.a.n.g Dahu, who was standing behind w.a.n.g Shoumin, rushed out to curse.
“You dare talk to uncle Xi like that?!” w.a.n.g Shoumin slapped his grandchild’s head.
“N-no, I wasn’t trying to curse that other child.” Qin Laixi spoke with a slight stutter, “The village head also knows that several years ago, someone killed a wolf on this hill. It’s been so many days since the Li child has been seen. Perhaps he was carried off by a wolf. Why else would we be unable to find someone who is still alive?”
w.a.n.g Dahu was already both scared and worried. Now that this Qin Laixi spoke of death every time he opened his mouth, he was so angered that he wanted to bite the other to death.
“Enough!” w.a.n.g Shoumin reprimanded, “Don’t talk about useless things. If alive, we must see the person; if dead, we must see the body. Either way, we need to have evidence. Call everyone and divide into pairs. Go deeper and keep looking. ”
However, time pa.s.sed, and at two in the morning, Li Qingran’s status was still unknown.
Everyone was tired. w.a.n.g Shoumin was forced to allow everyone to go home first. The next morning, they would continue the search.
w.a.n.g Dahu refused to go home. His face was pensive as he gripped Hei Bei’s leash tightly and ignored everyone that came to persuade him.
w.a.n.g Shoumin knew that w.a.n.g Dahu was very close to Li Qingran. If he could not find the person he was looking for, he would refuse to go home. Instead of saying anything, the old man just silently stayed behind with him.
In just a short moment, only the old man and his grandchild were left behind on the lonely cold mountain. The villagers had already overturned anything visible, so they headed further to even more remote places.
“Little Tiger.” w.a.n.g Shoumin looked at his grandchild’s innocent face and comforted, “Don’t be impatient. That Li child doesn’t seem to be an ill-fated person. Perhaps he has already left the hill and is only waiting somewhere, refusing to go home!”
When w.a.n.g Dahu heard that, he raised corner of his mouth slightly, but there were no changes to that calm face. He knew that his grandfather was just choosing his words to comfort him.
However, w.a.n.g Dahu did not believe that. In their previous life, Li Qingran lived well until he was 26, when his own death caused Li Qingran to commit suicide.
Therefore, absolutely nothing would happen to him this time. w.a.n.g Dahu would definitely not allow anything to happen to him.
“Ran Ran… Ran Ran… Ran Ran, Ran Ran… Where are you? …Say something! …Answer me… Ran Ran… Ran Ran…” w.a.n.g Dahu screamed his throat raw. His voice echoed heavily throughout the entire forest. It was full of worry, sounding powerless and insecure.
They scoured the forest and ravines.
They overturned almost every inch of land, but just like before, they still could not find Li Qingran’s whereabouts.
At this time, the sky was already light. The morning light of the dawn pierced through the tree leaves, illuminating w.a.n.g Dahu’s dirty face that was covered in dirt and dust, deepening his despair.
“Tiger… Little Tiger, rest a bit!” After a whole night of searching, w.a.n.g Shoumin couldn’t take it anymore. He sat down on a large rock and struggled to catch his breath.
Seeing his grandfather like that, w.a.n.g Dahu couldn’t help but feel guilty. He got up and patted his grandfather’s back.
“Don’t search. Let’s rest for now. Wait for everyone else to get up and then we’ll continue the search.”
“Alright!” w.a.n.g Dahu rubbed his nose and said, “Grandpa, I hear the sound of water around here. Let me go find something to quench your thirst!”
w.a.n.g Shoumin nodded his head and warned w.a.n.g Dahu to be careful.
That water wasn’t a small stream or anything; it was simply a trickle of water dripping down from a high rock face that he couldn’t find.
w.a.n.g Dahu picked a banana leaf to carry the water. As he watched the water pool onto the leaf, he started to think that if Li Qingran still couldn’t be found by this afternoon, he would immediately report it to the police. Suddenly, Hei Bei stood up beside him, turned in a certain direction, and began to bark repeatedly. w.a.n.g Dahu’s expression immediately changed and he yelled, “Hei Bei———— go!!”
Hei Bei understood his command and immediately ran ahead crazily.
w.a.n.g Dahu immediately chased behind. He, himself didn’t know how he was able to run so fast. It was as if he were a fleeting shadow.
“Woof, woof, woof!” Bei Bei jumped into a grove of trees. In the blink of an eye, it dragged out a small puppy.
w.a.n.g Dahu took a closer look. Wasn’t this the Blackie that Li Qingran was raising?
At this time, Blackie’s body was covered in dust and dirt and it appeared to be very weak.
Its mother Hei Bei put it down on the ground and pushed her head against its tiny body.
“Blackie! Blackie!” w.a.n.g Dahu impatiently asked repeatedly, “Where’s Ran Ran? Where’s your master?”
Blackie lifted its head and looked at him. It used all of its strength to stand up, but it was so tired that it seemed to drag itself against the ground. Seeing that, w.a.n.g Dahu became both heartbroken and anxious. Was his Ran Ran just like Blackie? Or was it even more…
w.a.n.g Dahu ran in the direction Blackie was barking at. He saw a pit that was covered with tree branches and leaves. It would be impossible to discover it if one was not looking closely.
“Ran Ran!!!” w.a.n.g Dahu leaned over the pit and shouted.
Sure enough, Li Qingran lay unconscious at the bottom of the deep pit.
“Hei Bei, go back and find grandfather. Lead him here!” w.a.n.g Dahu roared loudly, then removed the foliage on top of the hole and slid down.
“Ran Ran, wake up! Wake up!” w.a.n.g Dahu shakily held his hand underneath Li Qingran’s nose. After feeling the other boy’s thin breath, he was moved to tears. When w.a.n.g Shoumin arrived, he saw two children in the pit. One was unconscious and one was wailing his eyes out.
w.a.n.g Dahu woke up in the county hospital. His mother Zhang Fang kept watch beside him.
“Where is Ran Ran?” w.a.n.g Dahu sat up abruptly up and asked hoa.r.s.ely.
“He’s fine, he’s fine.” Zhang Fang quickly pushed her son back down onto the bed, speaking in rapid succession, “That child has been saved. The doctor just finished giving him a blood transfusion using your blood. Luckily, you two have the same rare RH negative blood group. Otherwise, it would have been even more dangerous.”
All in all, Li Qingran was still alive. After he heard that, w.a.n.g Dahu breathed out in relief.
He ran for a whole night and had a large amount of blood withdrawn. Furthermore, he was currently just a seven year old child. At this time, he was very tired, but he insisted on personally seeing Li Qingran. Zhang Fang could not stop him, so she reluctantly led him there.
Obviously, Li Qingran’s injuries were nowhere near as optimistic as Zhang Fang said.
The best proof was that up until now, he was still unable to wake up.
w.a.n.g Dahu could not stop trembling as he looked at Li Qingran’s entire body wrapped in bandages from head to toe.
Was I unable protect you again?
Obviously, I had firmly resolved that in his life, I would not allow you to endure any more suffering. Obviously, I had decided to good care of you and tenaciously guard you. However, what was the result? Allowing you to come close to death and lie weakly on a hospital bed?
w.a.n.g Dahu, you are the most useless man in the world.
You are a piece of tras.h.!.
Li Qingran was unconscious for four days. On the morning of the fifth day, he woke up. As soon as he opened his eyes, he saw w.a.n.g Dahu’s emotional face keeping watch by the bed.
The two children lived in one ward. After a few days of nurturing, w.a.n.g Dahu was full of vitality.
When Li Qingran was able to speak with difficulty, he was finally able to get a clear picture of what happened.
It all started the day after w.a.n.g Dahu left the county. Li Qingran’s aunt, Yang Le, suddenly brought her daughter and barged through Li Qingran’s front door. She announced that from now on, she was going to be benevolent and wanted to take care of Li Qingran.
Li Qingran clearly understood what kind of person Yang Le was, and naturally refused. However, he was small and helpless. Yang Le not only beat him, she did not allow him to eat or drink. All day long, she made him do ch.o.r.es and there were all sorts of troubles around the house. Li Qingran was so hungry that he went to the hill to find wild vegetation to eat. He didn’t expect that he would carelessly fall into the pit and break his leg, making him unable to climb back out. During those days stuck in the pit, he relied completely on wild grapes that fell from above to preserve his life while waiting for w.a.n.g Dahu to save him.
Seeing that w.a.n.g Dahu stayed silent after he heard the full story, Li Qingran carefully tugged on the other’s sleeve.
“I thought that it would be good to would wait for you and the village chief to come back!” He lowered his head and spoke gloomily, “Then we could immediately chase that horrible woman away!”
When he heard that, w.a.n.g Dahu fiercely glared at Li Qingran as if he wanted to swallow the other alive, “Why don’t you know how to call for help?!?! Let me ask you, haven’t I given you my home phone number? Don’t you know where to find a phone to call me? What’s more… That hag Yang Le bullied you and didn’t let you eat. Why didn’t you dig around for vegetables? Why did you run into the forest behind the mountain all by yourself?! Wild vegetables? I think you would have become the food instead!”
Li Qingran listened to w.a.n.g Dahu’s long winded scolding and somehow felt incredibly wronged. He reached down and pulled the quilt over his head, full of grievances.
I promised Chibi I’d get this out this weekend. I failed.
Pretty sure this is an author typo.
I decided to change the name so that it was more dog-like.