Chapter 70 – The Trap Set for You

The darkness before dawn is always the most intense, and this time the crackdown on speculation and buying and selling was the harshest.

So, the recent rumors were very tight. It was just that no one expected that there would be someone providing clues. If the situation was severe and the amount involved was significant, that person might get a job and 50 yuan.

Of course, this matter was not publicized, only circulated in private, but it was real and effective.

Cui Zhiqiang happened to hear about this “reward.”

A job position plus 50 yuan would be tempting for most people.

Moreover, Cui Zhiqiang was in the midst of desperately needing both money and a job.

Just because Cui Zhiqiang, three years older than Xu Xiangbei, had fallen for a girl from the city named Zhang Xiaoyan in the past few months.

Their encounter stemmed from a heroic rescue.

Zhang Xiaoyan fell for the tall and reassuring Cui Zhiqiang.

Cui Zhiqiang sensed Zhang Xiaoyan’s affection and began a vigorous pursuit. They quickly got together with the intention of getting married.

But just as the idea of marriage emerged, their relationship was discovered by Zhang Xiaoyan’s family.

Especially her parents, who strongly disagreed.

This was because Zhang Xiaoyan was a city girl, and she worked in a food factory. Cui Zhiqiang, on the other hand, was a rural person living in a mud house. He was the eldest at home with five younger siblings, and his mother’s health was not good. She mainly managed the household and couldn’t work in the fields.

His siblings were all very young, the youngest being only 3 years old.

It could be said to be Cui Zhiqiang’s complete burden.

Cui Zhiqiang wasn’t well-educated either, having only completed two years of elementary school.

On the other hand, Zhang Xiaoyan had graduated from junior high school.

So, in every aspect, the two were deemed incompatible.

But Zhang Xiaoyan simply liked Cui Zhiqiang. No matter how her parents analyzed the situation, she insisted on marrying him. Marrying a rural man with a large family was not well-received in society, and with Cui Zhiqiang’s numerous siblings and limited labor force, it would be unrealistic for Zhang Xiaoyan to move to the countryside and use her salary to support the family.

That was absolutely not acceptable.

Later, Zhang Xiaoyan also felt that her parents’ analysis made sense, but she couldn’t let go of Cui Zhiqiang.

She was determined to be with him, even to the point of secretly tasting the forbidden fruit.

Unable to do anything about it, Zhang Xiaoyan’s parents ultimately agreed to let them be together. However, if they wanted to get married, there were conditions. First, Cui Zhiqiang must come to the city and have a job. He could live with them. Second, the dowry should be at least 300 yuan, and there were other requirements…

Did Cui Zhiqiang like Zhang Xiaoyan?

Certainly, he did. Zhang Xiaoyan had all the qualities that he liked.

However, how could he meet Zhang’s family’s requirements?

The 300-yuan dowry, even with the money he had saved from buying and selling, was not enough.

Money was one thing, but a job position, sometimes, was something that even money couldn’t buy.

So, Cui Zhiqiang was very worried and didn’t know what to do.

But giving up Zhang Xiaoyan was something he was unwilling to do.

It was at this time that he accidentally heard about the crackdown on buying and selling from the public security side, with the “reward” they offered, which caught Cui Zhiqiang’s attention.

The goods for this transaction were originally not watches, but Cui Zhiqiang managed to get them to provide watches, and in a considerable quantity.

It was all to entice Xu Xiangbei.

When the transaction took place, Cui Zhiqiang planned to go and report it.

[…Those watches are clearly a trap set by Cui Zhiqiang for you. All to lure you into jumping in. For the sake of getting married, Cui Zhiqiang is willing to betray his brother.]

After listening to Xu Jinning’s explanation of the situation, Xu Xiangbei finally understood the true nature of the matter.

Xu Xiangbei knew about Cui Zhiqiang falling for a city girl.

But he never expected that Cui Zhiqiang would set a trap and betray him for the girl he liked.

Did Cui Zhiqiang not consider the consequences of being caught, especially in the current tense situation?

If Cui Zhiqiang had thought about it and still proceeded, what did Cui Zhiqiang see Xu Xiangbei as? A tool that could be used at any time?

Xu Xiangbei’s heart sank completely.

Initially, he had held onto a glimmer of hope, thinking that Xu Jinning might be making things up.

However, there were many things that the little girl didn’t know, yet she seemed like a prophet.

What’s even stranger was the way he heard about these things—through hearing the inner thoughts of this little girl, which others couldn’t hear.

This, in itself, was a bizarre and mysterious phenomenon.

Perhaps the little girl indeed possessed the ability to foresee things.

Moreover, judging by the emotions in her words, the girl was so agitated and desperate for him not to go. It seemed unlikely that she was making it up.

Naturally, Xu Xiangbei didn’t want to die and didn’t want to bring sorrow to his parents.

[…Xu Xiangbei, please don’t go, I beg you, don’t go.]

[How can I warn you, what should I do? What should I do?]

Although Xu Jinning was eating, her mind was in a whirlwind.

Xu Xiangbei felt warmth in his heart. This little girl was so afraid of him getting into trouble.

Since that’s the case…

As Xu Xiangbei was about to get up, he suddenly clutched his stomach, a look of pain appearing on his face.

“Ouch, my stomach…”

“What’s wrong?” Zhang Ailian heard the sound and quickly went over to check.

“My stomach hurts a bit. I can’t go out today. I’ll go lie down in the room.”

“Okay, nothing is more important than your health. Hurry up and go lie down. Don’t go out tonight. Should I ask your dad to take you to see the doctor on his bicycle?”

“No need, I’ll go lie down. I’ll probably be fine after lying down for the night.” With that, Xu Xiangbei continued to clutch his stomach and headed to his room.

As he ran, he thought in his mind: “Now, the little girl shouldn’t have to worry about how to save him anymore.”

In fact, at this moment, Xu Xiangbei didn’t realize that his attitude towards Xu Jinning had quietly changed.

He understood things from Xu Jinning’s perspective and considered her feelings.

On the other side, Xu Jinning stared blankly at the scene before her, unable to react quickly.

Things happened too fast, leaving her a bit stunned.

She was just worrying about how to prevent Xu Xiangbei from risking his life, and suddenly, Xu Xiangbei complained of stomach pain and decided not to go out tonight.

Not going out was good; it meant he wouldn’t be schemed against.

Perhaps it was also a blessing from above for the Xu family, Xu Jinning thought.

At the same time, the weight on her heart was lifted.

Life in the countryside involved starting work at sunrise and resting at sunset, especially without electric lights, as people were reluctant to use kerosene lamps easily.

So, after dinner, almost as soon as it got dark, everyone went to their respective rooms to sleep.

Soon, the Xu family members also returned to their own rooms.

The moon had already risen, casting a pure and bright moonlight between the heavens and the earth.

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