The car stopped at the gas station on the highway to refuel. Li Zhenruo took a breather and went to the small supermarket to buy two bottles of water.
Zhao Yuqiong’s hometown was even further away than his visit to Aunt Wu’s place before, it was almost at the junction of the two northern provinces. Li Zhenruo didn’t quite understand why Zhao Yuqiong chose to leave her hometown and come here alone. Eventually, she died alone without any relatives to accompany her.
Li Zhenran stood beside the car and waited to refuel.
Li Zhenruo noticed that the young woman working at the gas station was talking to him. When Li Zhenran looked down at her, she smiled coyly.
He shook the water bottle in his hand, Li Zhenruo walked over and hugged Li Zhenran’s shoulder from behind, stood on tiptoe and asked in his ear, “Is it done?”
Li Zhenran looked back at him, “It’s almost done.”
After refuelling, the young woman took out the fuel nozzle. Li Zhenran paid the money and called Li Zhenruo to get in the car.
It was too much to force themselves to arrive at the destination in one day, and it would be inevitable that they have to travel up to the mountain in the dark. So Li Zhenran directly booked a hotel in the halfway city, and the two planned to stay for one night.
Li Zhenruo opened a bag of potato chips and fed them into Li Zhenran’s mouth by hand.
Li Zhenran drove the car and looked ahead, opened his mouth to hold the potato chips, and also held Li Zhenruo’s fingers.
Li Zhenruo looked at him for a while, then slowly pulled out his fingers, put them in his own mouth and licked them.
In the afternoon, when they arrived at the city where they stayed at night, as soon as they got off the highway there was a car at the exit to pick them up, the people were arranged by Hua Yi Bang, and they were directly shown the way to the hotel.
After they parked the car and placed the luggage in the room, Li Zhenran and Li Zhenruo came out of the hotel and walked slowly along the road.
They were in an unfamiliar city. The place was not big, but it was quiet and clean.
The two walked to the edge of a big river and sat down on a bench by the river, and the cool breeze with the moisture of the river came blowing. In the distance, a few children were chasing and playing, and a young mother was walking slowly with a stroller.
Li Zhenruo took the initiative to hold Li Zhenran’s hand first and then felt that Li Zhenran grab his own hand together into the pocket of his clothes. Through a thin layer of fabric, he could feel the other party’s body temperature.
In the evening, Li Zhenran took a shower and came out of the bathroom, and lay directly on the big bed. He had been driving today, and he seemed to be a little tired, so he closed his eyes for a while.
Li Zhenruo lay beside him and touched him with his leg.
Li Zhenran ignored him.
Li Zhenruo touched him again.
This time, Li Zhenran reached out and grabbed his thigh, pulled his leg away, and said, “What are you doing?”
Li Zhenruo rolled over and sat on Li Zhenran’s waist with his legs apart, lowered his forehead to touch his forehead, and whispered, “Are you able to do me?”
Li Zhenran didn’t open his eyes, just smiled and didn’t speak.
Li Zhenruo kissed his lips and said vaguely, “fvck me, hurry up.”
The next morning, they only drove for half a day, and they arrived at their destination before lunch.
Zhao Yuqiong was born in a small county in the mountains. They were driving on a mountain road all morning, and Li Zhenruo was a little carsick. He wondered if he was a cat, it would be less dizzy. As the result his cat body was almost thrown out. Fortunately, the windows were closed.
Li Zhenran reached out and grabbed him, and said, “Don’t make trouble.”
Li Zhenruo suddenly became angry, but he obediently changed back into a human form and remained silent with a pale face.
When the car drove into the county, it drew some attention. He wondered if the roads in the county were not receptive because the roads were winding turns and complicated. So when cars and people came from other places, it was particularly eye-catching.
Along the way, most of the local people that Li Zhenruo saw were dark and thin, but they were quite tall. However, Zhao Yuqiong was fair-skinned, so she must have been a beauty here back then. As for the man in the photo, although he looked tall and handsome, he still had the traces of a local.
The place was too small and there were no good hotels. Li Zhenran didn’t really want to stay overnight here. He hoped to finish things earlier and return to the previous city accommodation.
The address was checked before departure, and a local person was contacted through a friend, who was a police officer in the county seat. After they entered the city, the officer got into the car and showed them the way.
They went to the place where Zhao Yuqiong’s parents lived. What Li Zhenran learned was that Zhao Yuqiong’s father had passed away, and only her mother was still alive, living with Zhao Yuqiong’s eldest brother’s family.
It was much more convenient to have the police officer lead the way. The car was parked near the county public security bureau. The police officer said the place was within ten minutes of walking, and led them through a narrow alley to the back street. They arrived at a store selling cement tiles.
The police officer asked in the local dialect, “Is Zhao Yusheng here?”
An old man looked out from the inside, with a rice bowl in his hand, probably eating lunch, and inexplicably looking outside.
According to what Li Zhenran had explained to him before, the police officer said to the old man, “Are you Zhao Yusheng? There are two lawyers from the city who want to ask you about your sister.”
Zhao Yusheng suddenly became nervous, “What lawyers? Which sister of mine?”
Li Zhenran asked, “Is Zhao Yuqiong your sister?”
Zhao Yusheng looked a little dazed, his brows furrowed tightly, and his tone was still a little worried, “She has been gone for a long time, and I haven’t seen her in more than 20 years.”
Li Zhenruo couldn’t help but ask, “You haven’t been in touch?”
Zhao Yusheng shook his head, “There is no contact, she never came back here, and I don’t know where she went.”
Although he knew that the person in front of him was his uncle, to Li Zhenruo, he was still just a stranger, and he couldn’t feel too many emotions. He even had some anger toward Zhao Yusheng’s indifference to the affection between his sisters.
Li Zhenran raised his hand and patted Li Zhenruo’s back lightly to comfort him, then stepped forward and asked, “May I ask why she left at that time?”
Zhao Yusheng was slightly more alert this time and looked at Li Zhenran suspiciously without speaking.
The police officer next to him took out his police card and showed it to Zhao Yusheng, and said, “Zhao Yusheng, don’t worry, they came from a big city and came here specifically for your sister’s business.”
Zhao Yusheng still seemed a little hesitant. He leaned in to look at the police card carefully, and then asked, “What happened to Zhao Yuqiong?”
Li Zhenran said, “She has died of illness.”
Zhao Yusheng couldn’t help but be stunned.
Li Zhenran continued, “She still left some remnant at that time, but there wasn’t much, about 2,000 yuan worth. If your identity is confirmed, we will return the money to you.”
Zhao Yusheng heard the words and said quickly, “I’m really her eldest brother, and we still have a photo of us at home, as well as an old household registration book.”
Li Zhenran said, “If it’s convenient, please show us later, but there are still some things I want to ask about Zhao Yuqiong. Why did she leave her hometown alone at that time?”
Zhao Yusheng said, “She didn’t leave alone, she left with that man!”
“That man?” Li Zhenran asked Li Zhenruo to show him the photo, and then handed it to Zhao Yusheng to show him, “Is it this man?”
Zhao Yusheng squinted his eyes for a while, and said, “It’s this man, I still remember it, his name is Yuan Dong. This man is a useless rogue gangster, at that time Yuqiong must be with him, and later there was a child. Father was so angry that she was thrown out, and she followed this man away.”
Li Zhenruo’s expression instantly became shocked, he turned to look at Li Zhenran and saw Li Zhenran also slightly frowned.
Li Zhenran asked Zhao Yusheng, “You said that Zhao Yuqiong was pregnant before leaving home?”
Zhao Yusheng nodded, still looking at the photo, he sighed slowly, and asked them, “You say Yuqiong is dead, what about Yuan Dong? What about their child?”
Before Li Zhenran could answer, Li Zhenruo said, “She didn’t end up with Yuan Dong, and that child was gone before it was born.”
Zhao Yusheng sighed deeply and handed the photo back to Li Zhenran, “At that time my father said that the man is not good and told her not to be with him, but the little girl just didn’t listen no matter how much he tried to persuade her. She didn’t come back after so many years, and Dad called out her name when he died.”
When he said this, Zhao Yusheng, who had been calm all along, suddenly couldn’t hold back his emotions. He raised his hand to wipe away his tears, and then asked, “Then what happened after her death?”
Li Zhenran said, “She was buried in the cemetery.”
Zhao Yusheng shook his head and said, “A place far away from home… oh my!”
Li Zhenruo asked again, “Are you sure that Zhao Yuqiong was pregnant with Yuan Dong’s child before she left her hometown?”
Zhao Yusheng nodded, “How can I’m not sure? There was such a big fuss at the time, not only do I know it, but all the neighbours knew about it at the time.”
Li Zhenran raised her hand and put it on Li Zhenruo’s back, pressed it a little harder, and then said to Zhao Yusheng, “Do you remember when she left?”
Zhao Yusheng recalled, “It should be 1991. It was summer, June or July.”
Li Zhenruo’s expression became more and more serious.
Li Zhenran nodded, reached out and shook hands with him, “Thank you for cooperating with us, we are almost clear about Zhao Yuqiong’s situation, you should take this inheritance.” After that, he took out more than 2,000 yuan from his wallet, There was no detail, and it was handed over to Zhao Yusheng.
Zhao Yusheng reached out his hand to get it, and asked, “Do I need to show you photos and household registration books?”
The police officer next to him said, “No need, we believe in your identity. You can collect the money, sir.”
Zhao Yusheng wrapped the money and put it in his trousers pocket, and asked Li Zhenran, “Where is my little sister buried, can you write me the address?”
Li Zhenran said to him, “Give me a piece of paper.”
Zhao Yusheng quickly took out a pen and paper. Li Zhenran took it and buried his head and wrote a series of numbers on the counter. Then he said to Zhao Yusheng, “This is my phone number. If you want to pay homage to Ms. Zhao Yuqiong, you can contact me and I will find someone to take you there.”
He picked up the note and put it away carefully, Zhao Yusheng said, “Thank you, Mr. Lawyer.”
In fact, it was very unlikely that Zhao Yusheng will be able to visit Zhao Yuqiong’s grave in his life, not to mention the old mother who was nearly 90 years old, they didn’t even dare to let her know the news.
Li Zhenran took Li Zhenruo’s shoulders and said, “Let’s go.”
Li Zhenruo nodded. The two of them left with the police officer and returned to the vicinity of the Public Security Bureau. Li Zhenran and Li Zhenruo thanked him again and then opened the car door and got in the car.
Li Zhenran was not in a hurry to start the car, he turned to look at Li Zhenruo, and saw that Li Zhenruo’s face was a little pale.
So he reached out and stroked Li Zhenruo’s back, then pulled him into his arms with some force, and hugged him comfortably.
Li Zhenruo said, “Zhao Yuqiong left her hometown pregnant in the summer of 1991. I was born in April of 1992 and happened to be the child of her and Yuan Dong. In other words, she was pregnant before she met Li Jianglin in the city. Li Jianglin has no reason not to suspect that her child was not his own.”
Li Zhenran’s face was also a little gloomy, and he stroked Li Zhenruo’s face with his palm and said, “What are you thinking?”
Li Zhenruo looked up at him, “Zhao Yuqiong is not Li Jianglin’s true love, but a woman who Li Jianglin spent money to find outside to give him a baby. At that time, it was too early, so it is understandable not to do a paternity test when the child was born, but wouldn’t he doubt the identity of the child if he had been born so long? “
Li Zhenran didn’t speak.
Li Zhenruo said, “Li Jianglin knew it. He knew from the beginning that I was not his biological son.” When he said this, his tone was full of affirmation.
Li Zhenran patted his shoulder gently, “Let’s go back first.”
Li Zhenruo sat up straight. After Li Zhenran started the car, he suddenly grabbed Li Zhenran’s arm and asked, “Can we find out what happened back then? How did Li Jianglin know Zhao Yuqiong?”
Li Zhenran thought for a while and said, “It’s hard unless you find someone who knows.”
“The insider…” Li Zhenruo fell into deep thought, and now there are almost no old people around Li Jianglin. Suddenly, he remembered someone and said to Li Zhenran, “Uncle Luo, do you remember?”
Li Zhenran nodded.
Li Zhenruo said, “Let’s go to Uncle Luo, I believe he will know.”
Ah, is this why there’s not much commotion when Li Zhenruo was ‘disowned’?
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