Chapter 42 The Desert Kiss Part 7
But at the same time, Helian Rongchuan also knew that Yan Changqing, being a loyal general of three generations, was educated by his elders to be a benchmark of loyalty, filial piety and etiquette when he was young. Even if he wanted to stop him at this time, he couldn’t stop him at all.
Yan Changqing was stubborn, obstinate and inflexible.
But Helian Rongchuan liked him being stubborn, obstinate and inflexible.
This was fate.
Thinking of this, Helian Rongchuan sighed silently. When he raised his head again, there was already a bit of firm strength in his eye.: “Okay, then I will accompany you and we will go together.”
He said that and held Yan Changqing’s left hand tightly.
Helian Rongchuan’s hands were big and powerful. Like Yan Changqing’s hands, he often held a sword leaving a callus, and his palms were dry and warm.
Yan Changqing was taken aback for a moment. He did not break away from Helian Rongchuan’s hand.
Helian Rongchuan turned his head, glanced at him with some surprise, and immediately held his hand tighter.
The line of hungry people was very long, shoulder to shoulder. There were at least thousands of people. The more they went back, the more the line became chaotic. The hungry people were in a messy pile and many of them were already hungry and unsteady. Some fell to the ground, and even more were spewing out some unidentified vomit. If one didn’t pay attention, one would step on it with one foot. The air was extremely dirty.
It was very difficult for Yan Changqing and Helian Rongchuan to travel against the current. Helian Rongchuan took the initiative to walk in front, opening the way while still not forgetting to open his arms to protect Yan Changqing, for fear that he would be squeezed or touched. He was cautious all the way, but his posture looked funny, quite like a big hen spreading its wings to protect it’s chicks.
Seeing him like this, Yan Changqing couldn’t help being angry and amused, but his eyes softened, and he patted his arm. “Relax, I’m not a child.”
“You are indeed not a child”, but Helian Rongchuan’s grip tightened, as if he was embracing Yan Changqing. He lowered his voice. “You are my lovely treasure.”
Yan Changqing’s eyes widened, only to feel that a large piece of his body had gotten goose bumps appearing in an instant, and the two small ears that were exposed from the white mask were red.
There were so many eyes in the big courtyard, how could Helian Rongchuan dare say such a thing!
Yan Changqing scowled, and was about to tell Helian Rongchuan a few choice words, but behind him, suddenly there was an annoyed, very arrogant voice. “Hey hey, where did you two come from? Go away, don’t get in the way of the Lord!”
A rather sturdy big man with sideburns crudely pointed at Yan Changqing and Helian Rongchuan, seemingly dissatisfied that they had occupied the path.
Yan Changqing and Helian Rongchuan were similar in height, and they were both tall, thus they were very conspicuous in the crowd. But this burly man was even taller and burly, he was half a head taller than Yan Changqing. He was like a moving iron tower, standing there, quite awe-inspiring.
However, what seemed mismatched with the man who was tall and strong, with his body full of muscles, was the right hand of this big man. He was also holding a large porcelain bowl that was similar to the other hungry people.
Such a physique also needs relief food?
Yan Changqing frowned when he saw the big bowl in the big man’s hand. Seeing Yan Changqing’s cold face and no intention of politely moving aside, the big man became even more angry.
“Hey, little child, you want to refuse the toast to drink punishment wine?”
The burly man cursed and his rough eyebrows shot up, wanting to hit someone. But as soon as he stretched out his fist, his wrists seemed to be caught with red iron tongs.
The brawny man screamed when his wrist was grabbed by Helian Rongchuan. Helian Rongchuan only used three fingers, but the brawny man used his whole body’s strength. His forehead was sweating and he couldn’t get rid of him. He could only watch his sturdy wrist slowly twisting towards a very strange angle, finally, It broke with a “click”.
Helian Rongchuan let go of the brawny man, clapping his hands in disgust, as if he had touched something unclean. He snorted coldly, “You want to move him?Look at the mirror first.”
“You…you…” The brawny man hugged his right wrist, and rolled on the floor with pain. The bowl was broken, and he said bitterly, “Just you wait!” He staggered and fled.
Yan Changqing frowned even more as he looked at the broken bowl that the strong man dropped on the ground. Seeing him like this, Helian Rongchuan said softly, “You also found something wrong, didn’t you?”
Yan Changqing nodded and looked to the front row of the people. In fact, when he looked along the way just now, he discovered that the people who were squeezed in the front of the group were basically like the strong men who they had seen just now. They were all tall and strong, and had never been infected with the disease. And the further they went, the more old, weak, sick and disabled were seen. The hungry, crying young children, the ones who looked famished, and the patients who were obviously infected with the plague, were often at the back of the line, and there were constantly people in front of them, yet no one dared to argue.
Because of the lack of manpower, most of the officers and soldiers to maintain the group were local government soldiers from Qinchuan, and they had turned a blind eye to the chaos of bullying the weak and the sick.
Yan Changqing couldn’t help clenching his fists. Those who were most in need often cannot get help, while those who were strong and physically did not need help at all occupied all the precious food.
When he first arrived, he really had neglected too many things. Yan Changqing couldn’t help falling into a deep spiral of self-blame and anger. But how could he distinguish the real victims from those who took advantage of the chaos? Should they be selected one by one according to their height and how thin or fat they were? It’s too easy to make mistakes just by looking at one’s appearance. Not to mention investigating the severity of the hungry people, it is too labor-intensive and time-consuming.
Yan Changqing was secretly worried as he thought about the countermeasures, but Helian Rongchuan laughed and guessed his thoughts.
“Master Yan, you don’t have to blame yourself. It’s common for people to take advantage of the fire during disaster relief. I have my own countermeasures.”
He couldn’t help but pull Yan Changqing back to the soup kitchen front. He smiled and grabbed a large handful of coarse gravel from the ground, and then went to the pot.
Yan Changqing quickly grabbed his hand and shouted. “What are you doing? This is porridge to save lives!”
Why do you want to sprinkle sand in the delicious rice porridge? !
“It’s because it’s life-saving porridge, so it is lacking a little material.” Helian Rongchuan looked at Yan Changqing, then said word by word, “Do you trust me or not?”
Yan Changqing was stunned. Helian Rongchuan’s eyes were bright and flickering with a firm light. As if infected by this light, Yan Changqing blurted out. “I trust you.”
After saying this, Yan Changqing was stunned. He didn’t even think and actually blurted something like that out loud?
Helian Rongchuan showed a very bright smile as his eyes narrowed together. Turning around in front of all the hungry people, shaking his wrists high, he sprinkled all the coarse gravel into the boiling porridge pot.
The burly men at the top of the line changed their expressions in an instant, and pointed at Helian Rongchuan accusingly: “You want to suffer a thousand knives? You have spoiled the white porridge!”
“Look, everyone, the official is sprinkling dirt on the porridge. Ah, give us citizens a way to survive!”
“This is to be condemned!”
The group of hungry people was instigated in an instant. The hungry people who didn’t know the situation behind only knew that someone was ruining the food in the pot, so they yelled for a while. During this time, the crowd was excited, and saliva flew wildly.
Helian Rongchuan coldly looked at the most ferocious ones yelling. Without exception, they were strong enough to scream and get angry. With this energy, what could be wrong with them? They were just taking advantage of the fire and robbing the people of their life-saving food!
Helian Rongchuan grew up among the poor and had suffered enough. The most unbearable thing was to see the poor being bullied. Immediately he sneered and said coldly, “If the relief food was given to you to eat, then it will really be spoiled.”
Then he couldn’t help but grab a few handfuls of sand and sprinkle it into the remaining pots.
Xiang Yu, full of sweat, stood aside, a little confused. He looked at Yan Changqing. Unexpectedly, Yan Changqing shook his head at him. “No need to stop it.”
Seeing that Helian Rongchuan had added some extra ingredients in the few large pots, these big guys stared blankly. Then their bowls fell, and they rolled up their sleeves and were about to fight.
However, they had just taken a step or two, only to hear a few “shuas”. The guys in the soup kitchen spontaneously revealed their sharp blades.
Although they had little manpower, they were from the black armoured troops after all, and they were completely different from the poor Qinchuan soldiers.
What’s more, there were people behind them backing them up.
Yan Changqing walked to Helian Rongchuan expressionlessly, facing the aggressive group of brawny men, coldly questioning them, “If you don’t want to eat sand in the porridge, then you are not hungry. If you are not hungry, why come to line up?”
One statement woke up the dreamers. The hungry people who followed the dozens of inciting brawny men to make trouble suddenly understood. They were starving to death, how could they care about how many grains of sand were in the porridge? They were so hungry that they could even eat gravel!
“Yeah! Don’t eat if you don’t like it, and quickly get out of the line. You guys had jumped in the queue of the people behind you, and they are so hungry, they could faint!” Seeing the support of the government, a few courageous hungry people who couldn’t endure shouted out loud.
The one shout didn’t matter. However, more hungry people behind the group started shouting, causing the dozen or so strong men to make way. The situation reversed in an instant, and the brawny man who was screaming suddenly couldn’t keep his face, and he couldn’t eat the porridge. He stared at Yan Changqing and Helian Rongchuan fiercely, then withdrew angrily.
Helian Rongchuan put his hands on his chest, raised his eyebrows triumphantly, and looked at Yan Changqing. He seemed to be asking for some compliments.
But Yan Changqing couldn’t smile. A small pinch of sand ensured that a whole pot of porridge could be reserved for those who need it most. Such a method was never thought of by Yan Changqing, who was raised in the court since childhood.
When Helian Rongchuan was a child, what kind of hunger and hardship had he experienced before he came up with such an idea?
Yan Changqing couldn’t help but feel a little confused. When he was thinking about this, a young child with a dirty face and thin arms like bamboo poles in tattered clothes ran over hugging Helian Rongchuan’s legs. He cried, “Big brother, you are so powerful, can you save me and my grandma?”
Helian Rongchuan was taken aback for a moment, and ignoring the filth on the little girl’s body, he bent down and rubbed the little girl’s hair. “What’s wrong with your grandma?”
Yan Changqing’s heart moved. He knew that Helian Rongchuan must be like him at this time, thinking of the little girl he had seen in Qixia Village.
The little girl knew that she had met her savior. She was so excited that she grinned and sobbed. “My grandma… she closed her eyes and ignored me and refused to drink the porridge!”
The two looked at each other. At a glance, they got up together in a tacit understanding and left the soup kitchen. Following where the little girl pointed out, Yan Changqing and Helian Rongchuan came to a disaster relief dome in a short while. The dome was not big, and the victims inside also went to collect porridge. Only one of them was reclining on the wall with gray hair, an old woman with an earth coloured face.
“Grandma, grandma?” The little girl picked up the already chilled rice porridge and wanted to feed it to the old woman, but the old woman didn’t move at all.
Yan Changqing stretched out his hand to probe, but Helian Rongchuan blocked it.
“Be careful of the plague.”
As he said this, Helian Rongchuan stretched out his hand involuntarily to detect the pulse of the old woman’s wrist, his eyes darkened.