“Those things are rather expensive… My neighbor Wang Guihua has one . Her husband did part-time jobs to buy it for her . ”“Oh…” Huo Mian nodded as if she had something on her mind: she was thinking of how she could borrow a phone without any suspicion .
“Young girl, where are you from?”
“S City . ”
“Oh my, a big city eh?”
“It’s alright . ” Huo Mian smiled . Then she picked up the plate of vegetables and smelled the delicious scent .
There wasn’t meat or much oil . It smelled a lot more delicious than those from restaurants . It might also be because she was hungry from all the exercise .
Just like that, she chatted and ate with the old grandma .
“Why did you come to this unfamiliar place? Who’s that relative you’re looking for? Why don’t you take a car and leave first thing in the morning tomorrow?”
“Why grandma? Is there a problem?”
She sighed as she sat on the door still and said, “Karma . I don’t even know how to tell you . ”
“I won’t tell anyone,” Huo Mian reassured .
“It was very peaceful here before . However, for some reason, people suddenly started trafficking people here . Do you know that human trafficking is illegal? Only those who sold their souls to devils would do that! For money, they’re willing to sell children and women… In the past few years, the village has gotten richer but they still don’t do legal business… Sooner or later, they will be struck by karma . You’re not from here and you’re pregnant . Be careful that someone will target you . ”
“Grandma, does the police do nothing about their wrongdoings?” Huo Mian pried .
“Police? They don’t do shit! All they care about is getting their money . Then they’d pretend as if nothing happened . It is good that they don’t target locals . They only take people from the outside . This place is doomed . After my husband died, my daughter and her family of three moved away . Then my daughter left to work in another city . If it weren’t for how much I love this place, I would have left a long time ago too . ”
“This place should have more order . Those human traffickers are so evil!” Huo Mian said . She had finished the bowl of noodles made by the old grandma and felt immensely serious .
She saw that the old grandma’s legs weren’t strong so she volunteered to feel her pulse .
“Oh, you even know medicine?”
“Yeah, I’m a doctor . ”
“Oh, you’re so young, but you’re already a doctor . ”
The old grandma had much respect for doctors .
“I’m not that young grandma . I’m almost 30 . ”
Huo Mian felt her pulse and stood up . “Grandma, your body is slightly weak . Do you cough often?”
“Yeah, my lungs aren’t good . Before winter, I’ll always cough a lot . It’s an old illness of mine,” the old grandma said and nodded .
“Okay . It’s not anything serious . Be careful not to catch a cold . When I go home, I’ll have someone send you some herbal medicine . You need to drink that . ”
“No, I can’t . Those medicines are too expensive,” the grandma waved her hands signaling no .
“It’s alright . I won’t charge you . It’s free . ”
Just then, the old grandma wanted to say something but was disrupted by some noise outside .
Huo Mian saw a group of people approach from afar .
“Search each and every house closely . We cannot let our god of fortune get away . ”
From the sound of it, it was the human traffickers .
Huo Mian’s face immediately changed .
“Grandma, I need to hide . They are the bad guys!”
“Hurry . Hide inside my water tank . ”
“Huh? I can’t swim though . ”
“Don’t worry, there’s no water inside . ”
It was very dark outside . The old grandma led Huo Mian to the shed at the back . Inside the shed was an old and broken water tank that she stored old cabbages in . When the old grandma opened the tank, the smell of rotten leaves wafted out .
Huo Mian built up her courage and jumped in the tank . Then, the old grandma covered the water tank and wrapped a piece of red cloth around it .
Soon after they finished, the group barged in .
“What’s happening?” the old grandma exclaimed when she saw them .
“Old witch, have you seen a pregnant woman?” the head of the human traffickers said with a mean look on his face .
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