Jiang Zhen woke up from the shaking. He opened his eyes and realized that his surroundings were dark. His legs were tied up and a cotton ball was stuffed into his mouth.
Where was this?
Where was my sister?
Despite his young age, Jiang Zhen could sense that something was amiss.
Jiang Zhen was frightened by the unknown environment. He started to cry silently and let out a soft whimper, but no one bothered with him.
After an unknown period of time, Jiang Zhen was so tired that he had no strength left. He cried until there were no more tears left. He lay on the ground weakly and fell asleep.
The door opened, and some light seeped into the darkness.
Jiang Zhen felt the blinding light. He gradually opened his round black eyes and realized that he was lying in a carrier. Beside him were neatly wrapped goods.
Jiang Zhen tried to sit up, but his legs were tightly bound by ropes and he could not sit up at all.
The door of the truck was opened. A thin, dark-skinned man stood in the middle of the door, sizing up Jiang Zhen.
Seeing that Jiang Zhen was awake, the man shouted, “Old Chen, the little boy is awake!”
A tall and sturdy middle-aged man walked over. He was wearing a loose suit, and his appearance was somewhat sloppy.
The sloppy man held a cigarette in his mouth and lifted Jiang Zhen out of the car like he was carrying a lamb.
Jiang Zhen was thrown to the ground by that person. He sized up the man in front of him in horror and then looked at the unfamiliar environment he was in. Only then did he realize that he had been brought into a forest by these people. He was currently lying on the rugged mud road.
The burly man squatted down and roughly pulled out the cotton ball from Jiang Zhen’s mouth. Jiang Zhen gasped for breath and questioned the man in fear and anger, “Who are you?! Where’s my mother?!”
When Jiang Zhen opened his mouth, his voice was hoarse. He was very thirsty and wanted to drink water, but he wanted to go home even more.
The man spat out the cigarette in his mouth and squatted down, using the tip of his foot to crush the cigarette into a crumpled ball. He reached out to touch Jiang Zhen’s face and said, “Forget about your comfortable days in the past. From now on, you won’t have a beautiful and gentle mother.”
Jiang Zhen was already four years old. He could already understand the adults.
Upon hearing this, Jiang Zhen opened his mouth and started crying. However, his voice was so hoarse that when he cried, he sounded like a dying kitten.
“Send me back! Send me home!”
The man ignored Jiang Zhen’s cries and stood up with his hands on his knees. He said to his companion, “Bring that little girl down!”
The dark-skinned man walked into the truck and soon carried out a little girl who was unconscious. It was Jiang Bi. She was still wearing the princess dress from the birthday party. Her pure white fluffy dress was stained with a lot of black dirt.
The man carried Jiang Bi and jumped out of the truck. He threw Jiang Bi in front of Jiang Zhen. Then, he tugged at the sleeve of his suit, revealing an inferior gold watch on his wrist. The man looked at the time and said to his companion in a thick Sichuan accent, “Old Chen, it’s almost time.”
Old Chen glanced at Jiang Zhen. He pointed at a nearby hill and asked Jiang Zhen, “Do you know where that is?”
iang Zhen raised his head and glanced at the distant place. There was confusion and confusion in his eyes.
Old Chen said, “That’s the border. On the other side of the Slope Mountain is the State of Yue. Little kid, you’re going overseas soon.” After saying that, Old Chen carried Jiang Zhen on his shoulder, picked up the unconscious Jiang Bi, and brought the siblings to the border.
Jiang Zhen didn’t know what the border was, but he knew he couldn’t be sent there.
He began to struggle desperately, pounding the man beneath him with his fists.
He had not eaten a single grain of rice for three consecutive days, so he had no strength at all. When his fist landed on the man’s body, it did not hurt or itch.
The man threw the siblings on the grass at the bottom of the slope. He stood on the hill and looked at Jiang Zhen and Jiang Bi. He looked into Jiang Zhen’s fierce eyes. Old Chen frowned and said, “Little kid, don’t blame me. If you want to blame someone, blame someone for giving me too much money.”
Jiang Zhen watched as Old Chen and the thin, dark-skinned man drove off. He struggled on the ground for a moment but was still unable to break free from the ropes on his body. After a few minutes, a short and dark man walked out from the woods behind them.
The short man directly took Jiang Zhen and his sister away and locked them in an abandoned pigpen. The pigpen was smelly, smelly, and especially dark. When Jiang Bi woke up, she found that they were locked in the pigpen. She was so frightened that she cried loudly.
Jiang Zhen sat on the ground and looked at his wailing sister. His eyes turned red.
“Come here.” Jiang Zhen extended his hand towards Jiang Bi.
Jiang Bi crawled towards Jiang Zhen. The siblings who had just fought a few days ago now regarded each other as their only salvation and hugged each other tightly.
Jiang Bi leaned into Jiang Zhen’s arms and cried, “Brother, I’m so hungry.”
Jiang Zhen’s stomach was growling as well. He hugged Jiang Bi’s arm and sobbed, “Sleep. When you wake up, you’ll have food.” It had been three days since they had eaten or drunk anything. The two children’s mouths were already peeling.
Jiang Bi closed her eyes, her tears still flowing down. After a while, Jiang Bi said, “Brother, I want to drink water.”
Jiang Zhen covered Jiang Bi’s mouth. “Speak less and you won’t be thirsty.”
Jiang Bi was hungry and thirsty. After crying for a while, she fell asleep.
When she woke up, the sky was already bright.
The pigpen was built under a building with walls on all four sides, leaving only two ventilation holes.
Jiang Zhen stared at the sunlight outside the ventilation shaft and rubbed her hungry stomach, feeling particularly upset. Jiang Bi leaned on Jiang Zhen’s shoulder and stuck out her dry tongue. She licked her similarly dry lips and said with a yearning expression, “Brother, I want to eat cake.”
Jiang Zhen thought of the birthday cake that the siblings had ruined. His nose suddenly felt sour and he could not help but wipe his tears.
“Brother, I will never ruin the cake Mom made for us again.” Jiang Bi missed the cake and the person who made it for them.
Jiang Zhen finally cried. “We’ll never get to eat the cake Mom made,” he said, tears streaming down his face. “We can’t go home, Jiang Bi. We can’t go back.” They were far from home. They would never see their parents again.
When Jiang Bi heard her brother’s words, she was stunned for a moment before bursting into tears.
Jiang Bi’s cries alerted the people outside.
The pigsty door was pushed open and a fat woman walked in with a metal basin. The basin was filled with two bowls of water, two pieces of corn, and steamed buns.
The woman stood outside the pigsty and looked at Jiang Zhen and his sister cynically, asking, “Are you hungry? As long as you listen to me and do as I say, I’ll give you food.”
Jiang Zhen frowned at the woman and remained silent.
Jiang Bi cried and said, “I want my mother!”
The woman slammed the basin hard against the pigsty fence, making a clanging sound. Jiang Bi was so frightened that she quickly stopped crying. “You’re not allowed to talk about Mommy anymore! You’re orphans now, and your parents are long dead! You don’t have a mother!”
Jiang Zhen clenched his fists tightly and glared hatefully at the woman, wishing he could skin her alive!
“Are you hungry?” the woman asked roughly.
Jiang Bi looked at the corn in the pot and her stomach started growling. She subconsciously swallowed her saliva.
Seeing Jiang Bi’s small action, the woman was extremely satisfied. “Little girl, if you call me Auntie and follow me obediently, Auntie will give you something to eat, water, take you to shower, and put on beautiful clothes for you…”
Hearing this, Jiang Bi subconsciously took a step towards the woman, but Jiang Zhen grabbed her waist in time.
“You’re not allowed to go!” Jiang Zhen dragged Jiang Bi back and glared at her fiercely. “Jiang Bi, you’re not allowed to eat her food!”
Jiang Bi felt wronged and scared after being scolded by her brother. She pouted and turned her head away stubbornly, not daring to look at the food bowl in the auntie’s hands.
Jiang Zhen looked at the woman coldly and said, “Take your things away. We won’t eat your food, and you can forget about us calling you auntie.”
“You don’t know what’s good for you!” The woman turned around and left.
The pigsty door was closed again. It did not open even after dark.
At night, Jiang Bi was really hungry and kept whining.
Jiang Zhen was not feeling well either. He was extremely hungry and his stomach was burning. Hearing Jiang Bi’s whining, Jiang Zhen held her in his arms worriedly.
As soon as he got close to Jiang Bi, Jiang Zhen was even more shocked than Jiang Bi’s burning body. “Jiang Bi!” Jiang Bi’s eyes were glazed over as she mumbled incoherently. She didn’t even react when Jiang Zhen called her name.
Jiang Zhen quickly touched Jiang Bi’s forehead, neck, and palm. It was hot to the touch.
She was going to die!
Jiang Zhen realized that his sister had to eat something. He quickly flipped out of the pigpen and stood behind the door, slamming it hard. He shouted, “Someone! Help! My sister is sick! Help!”
“Is there anyone? My sister is running a fever!”
Jiang Zhen banged on the door for a long time before the fat woman came to open it, cursing.
When Jiang Zhen saw the woman enter, he knelt down and grabbed her wrists with both hands. He begged her in a hoarse voice, “Please, give my sister some water and food. She’s starving.”
Jiang Zhen had long since gotten dehydrated from hunger, and he was dispirited and on the verge of collapse. “You don’t want your sister to die?” the woman asked maliciously.
“No, please save her!”
“Sure.” The woman looked at the blushing Jiang Bi and deliberately made things difficult for Jiang Zhen. “If you do as I say, I’ll save her.”
“I’ll listen to you, I’ll listen to you!”
“You should have done this earlier!”
The woman carried Jiang Bi back to the house and fed her a large amount of water and some gruel. Jiang Zhen also got water and gruel. He sat in a small corner and wolfed it down.
]When the sun was about to rise, Jiang Bi’s fever had subsided a lot, but she was still not in good spirits. The woman ate breakfast and took two sets of clean clothes for Jiang Bi to change into. She then asked Jiang Zhen to take a shower and change into clean clothes.
After changing their clothes, the siblings were brought out of the remote village by the woman and took a bus into the city. When they got on the bus, Jiang Zhen wanted to ask for help, but he realized that the passenger was speaking a completely different language!
Jiang Zhen was in despair!
The language barrier made it impossible for him to seek help!
The woman took the siblings on a long day’s journey, and only when it was almost dark did she lead them to a small, fairly well-furnished flat. Jiang Bi and Jiang Zhen were locked in one room, and Jiang Zhen could see through the door that the woman was counting money.
Jiang Zhen knew that they had been sold by a woman to another couple as their son.
Jiang Zhen realized that he would never be able to return to the Jiang family. They would never be able to see his parents again. He wanted to cry immediately. But when he saw Jiang Bi, who was dozing off in bed, he could only secretly hold back his tears.
He was her brother. He couldn’t cry.
After the woman left, a middle-aged couple walked in and said a few words to them. Jiang Zhen seemed to understand their language but did not react at all.
After that day, Jiang Zhen and Jiang Bi were locked up and raised by the couple for half a year. Gradually, Jiang Zhen understood their language and knew that the surname Tran, which was Chen.
Mr. Chen was a fruit vendor who worked in a fruit business with his wife in the county city. His family was quite well-to-do. However, both of them were infertile, so they decided to buy two children from the human traffickers.
After locking up Jiang Zhen and the rest for half a year and confirming that Jiang Zhen and the rest were obedient and wouldn’t run away, his adoptive father finally allowed Jiang Zhen to study. He was also worried that Jiang Zhen would go to the police, so his adoptive father detained Jiang Bi at home.
His sister was Jiang Zhen’s weakness. He would never abandon his sister and run away alone.
Jiang Zhen and Jiang Bi both had new names. Jiang Zhen was called Ao Han and Jiang Bi was called Fang Qing.
Jiang Bi was afraid that she would forget her true identity. Jiang Zhen, who had studied in kindergarten for half a year and only knew how to write his name, used a burning wooden stick and secretly wrote Jiang Zhen’s name under the bed.
Just like that, they lived in a new family for two years. When Jiang Zhen was six, his adoptive mother took them to the wholesale market in the city to buy clothes.
The wholesale market was full of imitations of Nike Adidas. The foster mother had bought Jiang Zhen a mental sport coat and a pair of hooked sneakers. She had also bought Jiang Bi a loose-fitting casual outfit that she hoped would last her for a few years.
After buying the clothes, her adoptive mother asked Jiang Zhen, “Ao Han, what do you like to eat? Mommy will buy it for you?” She only asked Jiang Zhen and completely ignored Jiang Bi.
Jiang Bi lowered her head. She was so introverted that she had no reaction.
Jiang Zhen glanced at his sister before saying, “I’d like some sliced chicken.”
“Okay. Mommy will go buy some for you. You and Fang Qing wait for me here.” The foster mother left Jiang Zhen and Jiang Bi at the entrance of the shop while she jogged across the road to buy some white sliced chicken.
After buying the white sliced chicken, the adoptive mother carried the delicacies back. When she turned around, she realized that the children were gone.
“Ah, Ao Han, Fang Qing!”
Her adoptive mother stomped her feet anxiously and chased after them along the alley beside the street.
Jiang Zhen pulled his sister and ran as fast as he could. Jiang Bi ran for a while with her brother, but she couldn’t run anymore. She called out to Jiang Zhen, “Brother, I can’t run anymore!”
Jiang Zhen didn’t even look back as he continued to pull her along. “Little sister, we must leave this place. Trust big brother, big brother will bring you home!” Even though he couldn’t remember where home was anymore, Jiang Zhen still didn’t give up on the thought of going home.
He held Jiang Bi’s hand and ran for two streets, but his foster mother still caught up to him.
“Ao Han! Fang Qing, why are you running? Mommy is here!” The foster mother guessed that the children were trying to run away. She cursed the ungrateful pair in her heart, but she did not dare to make a scene.
Hearing his adoptive mother’s voice, Jiang Zhen and Jiang Bi ran even faster.
Her adoptive mother shouted a few more times. The general idea was to get the people on the side of the road to help her catch Jiang Zhen and Jiang Bi. Seeing that her mother had spoken, some helpful people really helped to catch Jiang Zhen and Jiang Bi.
Jiang Zhen held his sister in his arms and shouted at the meddlesome people with reddened eyes, “Get lost! That’s not our mother! We were kidnapped and sold here!”
Jiang Zhen had already learned how to bypass the language. When he shouted out these words, the adults who grabbed him all revealed doubtful expressions.
Was this boy telling the truth, or was he lying?
At that moment, the adoptive mother, who was anxious to cross the road to catch Jiang Zhen and his sister, was knocked away by a small truck. The adoptive mother fell to the ground and stopped breathing on the spot. The white chicken was scattered all over the ground.
Someone in the crowd shouted.
When Jiang Zhen and Jiang Bi heard the commotion, they turned around and stared blankly at the foster mother who had been sent flying by the small truck. Their eyes widened.
However, Jiang Zhen regained his senses very quickly. He covered Jiang Bi’s eyes. “Don’t look. Brother is here.” Jiang Bi leaned into Jiang Zhen’s embrace and shivered.
At this moment, the adults beside them grabbed them and brought them to their adoptive mother’s corpse. “Look, it’s all your fault for running around and causing your mother’s death!”
“What a sin!”
Jiang Zhen and Jiang Bi were brought back by their foster father. After they were brought back, their foster father locked the siblings in a room. Two days later, their foster mother was buried and their foster father returned home alone.
He closed the door of the house, took a bamboo whip from the tool room, and went upstairs with it.
On the second floor, Jiang Zhen and Jiang Bi heard the approaching footsteps and held their breaths. Jiang Bi pulled on the corner of her brother’s clothes and asked softly, “Brother, will he kill us?”
Jiang Zhen said, “Come with me.” Jiang Zhen led Jiang Bi to the wardrobe. He opened the wardrobe door and said to Jiang Bi, “Go in!”
Jiang Bi shook her head and refused to hide. “Daddy will beat you to death!”
“Be good, go in!” Jiang Zhen pushed Jiang Bi into the closet and closed the door. He said to Jiang Bi, “Younger Sister, if, if I’m beaten to death by him, he should be appeased. You…”
“Remember, when you grow up, you must leave this damn place!”
Jiang Bi started sobbing in the closet.
The door was kicked open by the man. His foster father walked in with a bamboo whip in his hand. When he saw Jiang Zhen, the fierce-looking flesh on his face twitched as he roared at him, “Bastard, get over here!”
Jiang Zhen was so scared that his legs turned to jelly, but when he heard his sister crying in the cupboard, he gritted his teeth and slowly walked towards his adoptive father.
Before he could get close to his adoptive father, he was grabbed by his collar.
His adoptive father lifted him up and threw him forcefully against the wall. Jiang Zhen’s body crashed into the wall, and his internal organs vibrated. He landed on the ground again and felt dizzy. At that moment, Jiang Zhen thought he would die.
“You son of a b*tch!” His adoptive father walked over and kicked Jiang Zhen’s stomach. He scolded angrily, “How dare you run away! You caused your mother’s death! You ingrate! You’re indeed an ingrate! Go to hell!”
The man punched and kicked Jiang Zhen. When he was tired, he would whip him with the bamboo whip in his hand. Jiang Zhen would shout at the start, but later on, he no longer had the strength to shout. He lay on the ground and let the man vent his anger and beat him up.
The beating lasted for more than twenty minutes.
When the man stopped, Jiang Zhen was already on the verge of death. “F*ck!” The man spat on Jiang Zhen’s face before turning back to the cabinet.
Jiang Bi hid between the cracks of the closet door and watched this horrifying scene with tears streaming down her face. When she realized that her adoptive father was looking at her, Jiang Bi was so frightened that she rolled out of the closet.
She fell to the ground and hurriedly got up. She kowtowed and apologized, “Daddy, I was wrong. I won’t run anymore. I won’t dare to!”
The man was already exhausted and didn’t have the energy to deal with Jiang Bi anymore. He pointed at Jiang Zhen and threatened him, “If you dare to run again, I’ll skin your sister alive!”
Jiang Zhen glared at the man unwillingly and gritted his teeth.
The man left quickly.
After he left, Jiang Bi crawled to her brother’s side. When Jiang Bi saw Jiang Zhen’s injuries and the blood at the corner of his mouth, she was so frightened that she didn’t know where to start to hug her brother.
“Brother…” Jiang Bi’s tears fell on Jiang Zhen’s face.” Brother, don’t die, don’t die! ”
Jiang Zhen gave her a weak smile and fainted.
That vicious beating had fractured Jiang Zhen’s left arm and broken one of his ribs. His spleen had been in pain for more than a month. However, Jiang Zhen hadn’t gone to see a doctor. That man hadn’t even allowed him to go out.
Jiang Zhen was locked up again for another two months.
One day a month later, Jiang Zhen was released. On the day he was released, Jiang Bi was handcuffed and locked in a room.
His adoptive father sat on a chair in the living room and smoked a cigarette. He told Jiang Zhen, “Ao Han, watch carefully. Your sister is locked at home by me. If you dare to run away, I’ll kill your sister’s arm and take her life!”
In order to buy this pair of siblings, he had spent all his savings. He still had to rely on this pair of siblings to send him off in retirement.
He was unwilling to not discipline Jiang Zhen!
Jiang Zhen glanced at his sister, silently picked up his school bag, and silently walked out of the house to go to school. Just like that, the siblings and their adoptive father continued to live together peacefully.
Later, in order to let his sister regain her freedom, Jiang Zhen began to play the role of an obedient son. In school, he worked hard to get first place in his studies. When he returned home and went to bed at night, he would pretend to be dreaming and calling for his mother in order to gain his adoptive father’s trust.
Apart from that, Jiang Zhen would cook dinner for his adoptive father at night and even wash his clothes for him.
When his adoptive father saw that Jiang Zhen was so obedient, he felt that this child had really become sensible and knew what was good for him. Gradually, he was relieved. Jiang Zhen spent a year and completely gained his adoptive father’s trust. Only then did his adoptive father remove the chains for Jiang Bi.
Just like that, they lived together for another three years.
In the blink of an eye, the Jiang siblings were ten years old. Six years had passed since they were sold to the Yue State.
Jiang Bi became more and more beautiful as she grew. Many people nearby liked her and were waiting for her to grow up and marry her.
Seeing that his daughter was so popular, his adoptive father was happy from the bottom of his heart. He was hoping that Jiang Bi would grow up soon. When she grew up, he would find her rich in-laws and ask for more betrothal gifts.
Jiang Zhen knew what his adoptive father was planning. He did not express his dissatisfaction, nor did he dare to express his dissatisfaction. He often stayed up late to teach Jiang Bi how to read and write. Therefore, even though Jiang Bi had never attended school, she could still read.
Jiang Bi’s pencil was broken. Jiang Zhen passed his own pen to Jiang Bi. He picked up a small knife to sharpen the pencil, but he lost his balance and the pencil knife fell under the bed and could not be found.
Jiang Zhen turned on the flashlight and ducked under the bed before she realized the blade had landed behind the bedpost. Jiang Bi ducked under the bed, got the pencil knife, and was about to climb out when she realized there were two words written on the wooden bed frame with a black stick.
— Jiang Zhen.
Jiang Zhen stared blankly at the two unfamiliar words before his eyes suddenly blurred.
When Jiang Bi saw that Jiang Zhen had been lying under the bed and not coming out, she thought that the pencil knife had disappeared. “Brother, have you found the pencil knife?”
Jiang Zhen quickly dried his eyes and slid out from under the bed. “Found it,” he said.
Jiang Bi saw that Jiang Zhen’s eyes were red and she was shocked. “Brother, are you crying?”
Jiang Zhen sat on a small stool and silently played with his pencil without answering.
Jiang Bi asked again, “Brother, why are you crying?”
Jiang Zhen suddenly looked up at Jiang Bi and asked, “Do you still remember our original names?”
Jiang Bi was stunned for a moment before shaking her head. “I don’t remember.”
“Do you remember where our home is?”
Jiang Bi still shook her head.
Jiang Zhen was suddenly very depressed. He exerted strength in his hand and the pencil knife cut through the pencil’s core. His fingers were also cut, leaving behind blood.
Staring at the blood on his fingertips, Jiang Zhen lowered his head and said, “Bi’er, I will definitely bring you home in the future.”
Jiang Bi did not make a sound, probably because she no longer held any hope for this matter.
Jiang Zhen put down his knife and pen and went to the vegetable garden with a flashlight. He found a type of grass in the vegetable garden, crushed it, and smeared it directly on the wound on his finger.
Jiang Zhen held down the herb until the bleeding stopped, then prepared to return to the house. He swung his flashlight through the downstairs hall toward the stairwell, but heard conversation coming from the dining room.
Jiang Zhen stopped in his tracks when he heard the words “buy, take care” and “grow up soon”. He turned around quietly, turned off the flashlight, and quietly walked out of the restaurant.
Jiang Zhen leaned against the wall and eavesdropped.
Inside the house.
Her adoptive father smoked a cigarette and stared at the woman in front of him silently.
The woman was a matchmaker. She danced and said, “Your Fang Qing is a beauty. It’s your Fang Qing’s fortune that the young master of the Ruan family likes Fang Qing.”
“Young Master’s family is rich. If your daughter marries over, she won’t have to worry about food and clothes. The Ruan family is also generous. When they married the Zheng family’s daughter, they gave them a total of so much money!” The matchmaker raised five fingers with an exaggerated expression.
The adoptive father stared at the matchmaker’s raised fingers and his eyes finally changed. He said worriedly, “But that young master from the Ruan family has already married three wives. All of them died mysteriously. If our Fang Qing marries him, she will also…”
Her adoptive father did not say much, but the matchmaker already knew what he meant.
The matchmaker was a little embarrassed. She said, “This is all because those madams don’t have the life to enjoy wealth. It has nothing to do with Young Master.”
“Fang Qing is still young. We’ll send her over to take care of her first and build a relationship with Young Master. She will only get married when she grows up. Sigh, Boss Chen, you don’t have to hesitate anymore. Fang Qing is not educated and your family is just like that. The only reason why the Ruan family took a fancy to her is because Fang Qing has the life to enjoy life…”
Her adoptive father hesitated for a long moment before saying, “I’ll think about it.”
When Jiang Zhen returned to his room, Jiang Bi saw that his expression was gloomy and did not dare to speak to her brother.
Jiang Zhen walked to the side of the bed and sat down. He stared at his young sister. When he thought about the possibility that his sister would be sold to the Ruan family as a child bride, his heart instantly ached.
Jiang Bi saw that her brother was staring at her with a serious expression. She gripped the pencil tightly and asked softly, “Brother, what happened?”
Jiang Zhen didn’t say anything. She collapsed on the bed and pretended to be asleep. When Jiang Bi saw that her brother was about to sleep, she put away her books and carried her things back to her room.
“Lass,” Jiang Zhen suddenly called out.
It had been a long time since Jiang Bi heard her brother call her that. She turned around and stared at the boy on the bed.
“Girl, I’ll protect you forever,” Jiang Zhen said.
Jiang Bi smiled faintly. “I know, Brother.”
A few days later, Jiang found a group of strangers in the house. Among them was a man in a suit. The man looked to be in his thirties and had a huge gold chain around his neck. He was squatting beside Jiang Bi and talking to her.
Jiang Bi was washing the vegetables. Her head was lowered and her face was red. She was too embarrassed to talk to anyone.
Jiang Zhen carried his school bag and hid behind a tree. He watched this scene from afar and secretly clenched his fists. He suddenly left for the city.
Jiang Zhen walked into a clinic and said to the doctor, “My father’s throat is inflamed and he’s in so much pain that he can’t eat. He asked me to buy some anti-inflammatory medicine for him.”
The doctor asked, “Does he have any allergies?”
The doctor prescribed some medicine for Jiang Zhen. When he passed the medicine to Jiang Zhen, he reminded him, “Remember to tell your father that you can’t drink alcohol after drinking this medicine!”
Jiang Zhen nodded and left with the medicine. His adoptive father glanced at him guiltily and asked, “Why are you back so late?”
Jiang Zhen passed the medicine to his adoptive father. “Didn’t your throat hurt? I bought some medicine for you.” After throwing down his bag, Jiang Zhen asked his adoptive father, “Did you cook?”
“Not yet, the dishes are ready.”
“Then I’ll cook.” Jiang Zhen rolled up his sleeves and went to the kitchen to set up a stool to cook.
His adoptive father stared at the medicine in his hand and was somewhat touched. “Thanks, kid.” The medicine was concocted by the doctor. He folded the newspaper he cut and drank a packet at a time. His adoptive father opened the newspaper and drank the six or seven pills.
He stared at the boy who was cooking in the kitchen and hesitated. How should I tell this child that his sister was about to be sold to another family to be a child bride?
The man hesitated for a long time but was too embarrassed to speak.
Jiang Zhen quickly finished cooking and poured a glass of wine for his adoptive father. When he passed the wine to his adoptive father, Jiang Zhen said, “Drink less.”
“I don’t work at night, so it’s fine to drink a few more glasses.” Her adoptive father raised his glass and took a sip.
Jiang Zhen stared at his actions, his small face cold.