776 Attempted Murder
“Mei Mei, don’t mind Auntie’s unpleasant words, but let’s go to the river to take a look,” Auntie Dong said with a serious expression.
Qiao Mei was actually thinking about the same thing. During this season, if one fell into the river, there was an 80 to 90% chance that one would not survive. Moreover, there was a reservoir in the village where Zhang Qin went to school. Even an adult would die after falling into it, let alone a child as young as Zhang Qin.
“Have we really searched everywhere except by the river?” Qiao Mei asked with a gloomy expression.
Everyone looked at one another. That was indeed the case. As they set off from their homes, they had searched the vicinity as well. They had almost combed the entire village, but there was still no sign of Zhang Qin.
“Qiao Mei, we’ll go around and search again later. I’ll bring a few people along the riverbank to take a look. You can stay at home and accompany Li Gui. Don’t worry, we’ll definitely do our best to find her,” Zhao Liang said.
Everyone chimed in and agreed. There was something else that Qiao Mei wanted to do, so she did not decline the offer. However, she did not stay to take care of Li Gui and asked Auntie Dong to stay and help instead.
Qiao Mei hurriedly returned to her room and sent out all her energy. Using the roots of the plants, she began to search for Zhang Qin’s whereabouts. This consumed a lot of Qiao Mei’s stamina and energy. She even took out the treasured ginsengs at home and absorbed their energy without any hesitation.
Even if she had to give it her all, she had to find Zhang Qin.
Qiao Mei searched along the river and did not find any clothes, fabric or shoes. The plants by the river also did not have any memories of Zhang Qin.
Now that she had searched all the villagers’ homes, the riverside and all the nearby places, the only place left was the mountains.
There were many mountains around the village and Zhang Qin had climbed every one of them previously. Back then, in order to pick wild vegetables, she would go and take a look as long as there were vegetables to be found. Even if everyone in the village went up the mountains to look for her, they still would not be able to cover everywhere after three days and three nights.
Qiao Mei searched meticulously and finally found some clues in the bushes at the foot of the mountain near the school. Through the line of sight of the bushes, Qiao Mei found a piece of Zhang Qin’s clothes on the ground. It was not big, but it was enough for her to recognize it.
She was the one who bought everything that Zhang Qin wore. She knew very well the kind of fabric and the patterns. Those were all new fabrics that she had brought back from the capital and were not sold in the county city at all.
Following this mountain path and heading upwards, Qiao Mei found Zhang Qin lying unconscious at the bottom of a dangerous slope. Her clothes were torn and tattered, as if they had been scratched by tree branches.
Her beautiful face was also covered in blood and there were also many wounds of various sizes. Qiao Mei memorized the approximate location and hurriedly put on more clothes before running out.
It was going to be dark soon. If she delayed any longer, Zhang Qin would be in danger. There were many fierce beasts on the mountain. If she did not bring Zhang Qin back, even if the girl was still alive, she would get eaten up by the beasts.
“Mei Mei! Where are you going! I’m coming with you!” Qiao Qiang said as he put on his clothes.
Qiao Mei wanted Qiao Qiang to rest at home. The mountain path was steep and not easy to walk on. That mountain was the most dangerous mountain in this area, not because there were many ferocious beasts inside, but because the path was steep and dangerous. Most of the slopes were also dangerous and one could easily miss a step if one was not careful. No one was willing to go to that mountain to pick wild vegetables.
“Grandfather, I’m going up the mountains. It’s going to be dark soon, so it’s better if you don’t go. I’ll go and get Uncle Zhao and the others to accompany me,” Qiao Mei said.
“No, then the more I have to go with you. I’ll be even more worried if you go up the mountains alone,” Qiao Qiang said with a frown.
“How about this, grandfather? Go to the river and ask the villagers to come and look for me. I’ll go and scout the way first. Then later, it’ll be faster when we go into the mountains to search together,” Qiao Mei persuaded him patiently.
Qiao Qiang nodded. This was the only way. Saving the child was more important.
“You must be careful, do you understand?” Qiao Qiang instructed.
Qiao Mei immediately walked towards the house at the entrance of the village, to look for the family who had a horse carriage . Riding a bicycle was the fastest way, but now that she was more than seven months pregnant, she was also afraid that the bumpy road would have a negative impact on the babies.
Along the way, she kept thinking about how Zhang Qin got there and how she climbed to such a high place alone. This was not an accident at all. Someone had done this on purpose!