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Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
A servant felt his throat constrict, and he whispered, “Langjun… Is she alive?”
His voice was particularly soft, as if he didn’t want to disturb her. Everyone else around them was quiet.
Jiang Pengji passed the torch to the servant and said coldly, “She is dead… Help me by lifting the torch. The child is still alive.”
The servant obeyed. He took two steps back and shifted the angle of the light to prevent the shadows from impeding her vision.
Jiang Pengji descended to the ruins. She moved the heavy items away that were crushing the woman. The beams had broken both of her legs.
The audience members in the live streaming room did not dare watch. Even the activities on the bullet screen halted. None dared to comment or discuss anything, as if afraid they would disturb the dead spirits.
Jiang Pengji knelt and tried to move the woman aside, but she didn’t expect the woman’s corpse to be in rigor mortis. Her body was very stiff. She lowered her head and observed how the woman had used the front of her body and both her arms to create a safe space for the swaddled baby.
Jiang Pengji’s nails touched the hardened skin of the woman, and she whispered, “I’m sorry to disturb your rest.”
Despite a change in position, the female corpse maintained her bow-shaped back. It brought tears to the eyes of the onlookers.
“The child is not hurt, but it has been crying all day. His throat must hurt. Moreover, he has not eaten the entire day, so he must be starving.” Jiang Pengji briefly examined the child. Except for the weak cries, he didn’t have other ailments. It was evident the lady protected him very well.
Jiang Pengji cradled the child and briefly pacified him. The child was easily comforted. He quickly stopped crying once he was held and rocked lightly, but he was still sniffling. He looked very pitiful. The servant looked at the child, then at the woman, and asked softly, “Langjun… What are we going to do with this woman? Do we bring her back?”
“Yes, let’s bring her back. The weather is immensely warm now. It is not easy to preserve the corpses. If we continue to place them here, they will rot within three days, and parasites will feed on them. The dead are our priority. Once we bring them back, we can bury them so they can rest in peace.” Jiang Pengji replied softly; she was afraid of scaring the baby in her bosom.
The servant nodded in agreement and prepared to move the woman’s corpse out with another fellow servant when Jiang Pengji added, “Do you know whose land this is?”
Jiang Pengji looked at the woman’s attire to determine her relationship with the child. In the current era, it was impossible for a child less than two months old to grow up without the protection of their parents or kinsman. Even if they managed to grow up, there were bound to live a hard life.
If they knew what family the child was from, they could follow the leads and find the child’s relatives.
Nevertheless, Shangjing was huge. The servants were either brought by Jiang Pengji and Feng Jin, or they were young, strong people who volunteered to help from the commoners. How would they have knowledge of other households? After asking around, no one was certain. Jiang Pengji could only sigh and resign to fate.
With the complete map of Shangjing in her mind, she briefly located their position and determined where the ruins were.
“Forget it. We’ll figure it out another time.”
Jiang Pengji handed the baby to the servant and ordered them to transport the female corpse and child to the camp base. The child cried helplessly after leaving her bosom. His cry was softer than a kitten, and his fist grabbed the air uncontrollably. His yearning expression made it unbearable to leave him.
Yingyang Kuaixian: “I never knew my tear ducts could be so active before watching the live stream.”
Sanzhisongshu Lingshi: “I am a grown man, but I am crying like a baby. I am typing while I cry; others may think I have gone mad. Streamer, this child is so pitiful. Please carry him. He is going to cry his lungs out.”
Caolaoban Airenfu: “A pitiful, orphaned child! He is not the only one. Many more will surface. Does the streamer want to establish a nursery for children who lost their parents during the earthquake? In the present age, some orphanages receive these children. In ancient times, however, if the child did not meet a kindred spirit, they would either die from hunger or illness. If they didn’t die, they were forced to beg and live on the edge of society.”
The posts on the bullet screen streamed in. The majority of the content was heavy. Honestly, no one dared post frivolous topics.
Jiang Pengji’s eyelids drooped. She glanced at the child, whose cheeks were red from crying.
Before the earthquake occurred, the child had belonged to an affluent family. The child’s mother’s clothing and make-up were exquisite. The child was well-fed, chubby, and endearing. However, Jiang Pengji was unaffected by external factors.
No matter how pitiful the child was, Jiang Pengji sent him away resolutely.
If she pacified the child, what would happen to the people who were waiting for rescue?
What if she brought the child with her on the rescue efforts and something happened? How was she supposed to safeguard the child?
Laosiji Lianmeng: “Honestly, carrying a child based on current emotions alone is disrespectful.”
Jiang Pengji made a good decision, but the child was unable to understand it now.
The servant held the child. The child was crying pitifully, which made the servant think about the child’s mother. His heart broke. “Langjun, this…”
Jiang Pengji pondered. She raised her hands and tore a piece of her outer coat, then she used the clean side to swaddle the child.
She had no clue what else she could do if that did not work.
Once the child smelled Jiang Pengji’s familiar scent, his pitiful cries slowly subsided. “He is rather smart,” Jiang Pengji murmured.
They discovered two more survivors amidst the ruins. One was an elderly man who Jiang Pengji learned was the head servant. The other was a solemn and quiet woman. Jiang Pengji examined her and discovered that her breast was full. She observed the woman’s clothes and realized she was likely the nanny.
Other than the three that survived, the remaining seventeen people in the house died.
Many grew numb to the number of corpses carried out of the ruins.
“Continue searching, and transport these corpses back. We will find a place to bury them tonight.”
The hot and humid summer was upon them. The corpses decomposed at a rapid rate. If a heavy rain came, it wasn’t hard to imagine that the water would become contaminated, and a frightening epidemic outbreak would occur. It was best to burn the corpses, but that was hard for many to accept.
Luckily, Jiang Pengji knew how to handle the corpses and possessed basic knowledge of how to “sterilize” them. In her spare time, she had exchanged a thousand tons of rations and medicinal herbs at the mall. If Xiaoyu brought the items back, they could then deal with the corpses.
“Let’s search that side.” Jiang Pengji rested momentarily, then got up and continued working.
Xu Ke located the “rations storehouse” that Jiang Pengji identified on the map, and the medical shop where the herbs were held.
To avoid suspicion, Jiang Pengji exchanged for one or two-year-old rice.
However, in times like this, it was enough that there was food. Who cared if it was old or new?
“Transport this to the carriage.” Xu Ke’s face finally looked mildly relieved.
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