Chapter 69: Digging out a body (2)
With the help of the little squirrel, Mi Wan found a path down the mountain. The rain had stopped by now, and the villagers on the bottom of the mountain were able to safely evacuate due to the warnings from Liu Gu’s group. Though half the houses on the base of the mountain had been flattened by the landslide, it was fortunate that no one was hurt.
Ambulances and rescue squads had also been dispatched to the scene, and upon hearing that no one from the village was missing, the emergency crew were able to relax and quickly set up tents to help treat the villagers who were injured during their escape.
Han Xiao, Liu Gu, and Jin Mingxuan were searching through all the First Aid tents. They were unable to reach Mi Wan through her phone, so this was the only alternative they knew to find her.
“Did you find her?” Han Xiao asked the other two anxiously.
“No, and I’ve also searched the village next door, but I didn’t see Mi Wan.” Liu Gu shook his head in disappointment.
“Not here either. Han Xiao, did Mi Wan not make it down?” After searching for 2 hours with no signs of Mi Wan’s whereabouts, Jin Mingxuan could not help but imagine the worst case scenario.
“Impossible!” Han Xiao insisted, “Before the landslide, Mi Wan called me and said she’s coming down.”
“Then where is she?” Jin Mingxuan ruffled his hair in frustration. He didn’t want to curse Mi Wan, but they just couldn’t find her.
“Let’s look around again. I’ll ask the villagers here.” Liu Gu insisted.
“Like hell. This is not a large place and we’ve already searched it 3-4 times. Damnit, we shouldn’t have left a girl alone in the mountains.” Jin Mingxuan kicked a stone in frustration.
Although Han Xiao and Liu Gu didn’t want to admit that Jin Mingxuan was right, they evidently couldn’t deny it. They were 3 grown men who had left a girl alone in the mountains. If anything were to happen to Mi Wan, they would never forgive themselves.
“How about…we let the search and rescue team look for her?”
“It’s already been 2 hours, can she even be saved if they found her?”
“Then do we stop searching?”
The three guys were seeing red, bickering back and forth, tossing blame on one another, and it looked as if a fight might break out at any moment. Suddenly, there was a shout from the crowd.
“Everyone look, do you see someone climbing down the mountain?”
“Where? Where? Is it really a person?”
Without verifying if the person was Mi Wan, the three men immediately craned their heads and took off towards the direction of Gu Yuan mountain, completely disregarding the rescue team’s caution barriers. As they got closer, they were finally able to clearly recognize Mi Wan as the person who descended down the mountain.
“Mi Wan!” The three boys were so relieved that they almost cried. When they ran up to Mi Wan and saw that she was drenched from head to toe, all three removed their coats without hesitation, but it was Han Xiao who was the fastest to drape his over Mi Wan.
“Are the villagers okay?” Mi Wan asked worriedly.
“They’re fine. The people in our village fled early, so no one was harmed. The village next door didn’t evacuate as quickly, but they were further away from the mountain, and they were able to obstruct the landslide, so there were no casualties, just a few flattened houses.” Liu Gu replied.
“What’s going on with you? Why did you just leave the mountain? Why didn’t you pick up your phone?” These three had many questions for Mi Wan, and could not help but fire them one after another.
“Can you wait for me to get a change of clothes before I explain? I’m cold.” Mi Wan asked pitifully.
“I’ll go look for clothes.”
“I’ll prepare some ginger soup.”
“I’ll bring you there.” Jin Mingxuan and Liu Gu had taken off, leaving Han Xian to care for Mi Wan.
Suddenly, he noticed a small squirrel popped out of Mi Wan’s clothes and asked bewilderedly,
“My squirrel savior.”
It was only when Mi Wan arrived at the tent, changed into a fresh set of clothes and gulped down a bowl of ginger soup, that she felt refreshed. Now she finally had the energy to explain her whereabouts to the trio.
“When the landslide happened, I didn’t have time to run back down, so I ran back up instead. Luckily, the landslide wasn’t serious, so I hid on the side of the mountain that wasn’t eroding and came out unscathed. I didn’t pick up the phone because I lost it while I was running and didn’t know where I lost it.”
“Then why did you lie and tell us you were already down the mountain?” Han Xiao looked extremely frustrated. Because Mi Wan had said she had made it down the mountain, they did not immediately send the rescue squad out to look for her. Fortunately Mi Wan was able to avoid the landslide, the thought of her not making it made him shudder.
“I was afraid that you would turn around halfway to look for me, and back then, the tree deity had given me directions, so I knew I was going to be fine.” Mi Wan explained.
“I’m already in a bad state, can you guys stop scolding me?” Mi Wan didn’t want to continue the topic, so she instantly lowered her head and begged pitifully. Naturally, if she behaved like this, Han Xiao and the others reacted like her senior brothers in the past, and felt too guilty to lecture her.
“We’re not scolding you, we’re just worried about you.” Han Xiao mumbled, but did not pursue Mi Wan for lying, “I’ll get something for you to eat.”
Han Xiao left with that excuse, but Liu Gu and Jin Mingxuan were curious to know why she stayed behind in the mountains.
“Mi Wan, when you went back there, what did the tree deity say to you?” Liu Gu asked.
“The tree deity said it’s about to die, and was only able to hold on for 15 minutes, and wanted us to flee.” Mi Wan replied.
“The tree deity…is dead?” The pair looked stunned, especially Liu Gu, who consciously pulled out the branch from his coat pocket, “It was about to die, but still tried to protect us.”
Mi Wan recalled those words and added, “Liu Gu, did you know? It wasn’t just the tree deity that saved us, but also you.”
“Me? What did I do?” Liu Gu raised his head in surprise.
“You believed in it.” Mi Wan replied, “because you sincerely offered your prayers, and then lit those incense, you gave the tree deity power so it could send out those warnings. Think about it, I heard those sounds only after you finished praying.”
“I…” Liu Gu clutched the branch tightly in his hand, and replied sadly, “But, the tree deity died.”
Mi Wan didn’t know how to console Liu Gu, because the tree deity was already dead. It’s demonic source, its body, and all its roots that wrapped around half the mountain were all buried by this landslide. When spring comes, its body would turn to nutrients that would nourish new life, but none of these lives would be the tree deity itself.
When plants cultivate, it takes a thousand years to attain self-awareness. Gu Yuan mountain’s thousand-year cultivation was ruined by a single landslide.
After resting for another 30 minutes, Mi Wan insisted on returning to Kang city, to avoid worrying Butler Ye. Han Xiao and Jin Mingxuan followed her, leaving Liu Gu to stay back at home. Mi Wan didn’t wish to be interviewed by reporters, so she warned Liu Gu not to reveal that she can hear voices from the tree deity, and Liu Gu nodded in understanding.
When she arrived home, she was confronted by a bunch of questions from Butler Ye. Mi Wan made up an excuse that she fell in the middle of the hike and lost her phone in the water, and after that perfect alibi, she went upstairs to shower. After cleaning up, a certain person without a phone, grabbed a familiar glass and hurled it towards the window next door.
Seeing the glass was once again caught by vines, and a small purple flower bloomed quietly by her window sill, Mi Wan smiled happily.
“Why are you throwing things again?” Fan Chen asked.
“Because my phone was buried by the mountain.”
“Then why didn’t you say so just now. I would have dug it up along with you.” Fan Chen frowned.
“No worries, I’ll just buy a new one.”
“I was worried about polluting the environment.”