Ancient Eden - Chapter 43
~End of chapter 42
Mu Qing had a ridiculous feeling.
It seemed as if she had traveled through time and space with that stroke of thunder and had reached the prehistoric era.
Such a thought made her very dismayed and frightened, and forlorn. So, after that thought popped into her head once, she forced herself to not think about it again.
The only thing she could do was to tell herself over and over again that this was just her imagination, that this was still her original world, and that she was on a parallel place that existed on Earth at some intersection between longitude and latitude, and that she could definitely go back.
Mu Qing was disappointed again this time, and her heart was heavier than it was a few days ago. She followed the marks she had carved into the bark of the trees with a sharp stone knife the previous two times and kept on walking towards the south for a while, but as before, she still found nothing.
She knew it was time for her to go back now, while she could still see the traces that she had made on the way. The light in the forest could disappear very quickly, and once it got dark, she would get lost here.
When Mu Qing got back to the field in the hurry, most of the children had already gone back. Only Youyou was still waiting for her there alone, with a very anxious expression. When she appeared, Youyou showed a happy smile and ran towards her.
These past few days, Mu Qing had not taken a bath because she had no energy and today, she had sweated a lot, so she pointed the direction of the stream to Youyou. Seeing Youyou nodding her head, she carried her in her arms to the place where the women here regularly went to bathe, that same section of the stream where she had been taken to bath the first time. When she arrived, she heard the sound of laughter from a distance, a few other women had already returned from their long day’s work and were washing in the stream.
Youyou quickly got into the water and started to move around, speaking endless words with the other women. Mu Qing went to a corner, took off her clothes and got into the water. She discovered this morning that she had marks on her chest left by Li Mang last night. Her white skin had some deep red spots, and she was afraid of being seen by the other women and laughed at, so she turned her back on the others, wanting to wash hastily and go back to shore.
Mu Qing was in the water scrubbing her long hair, when suddenly she heard behind her a “poof” who created a bid splash. When she turned her head to look back, unexpectedly she saw Yi Jia standing on the shore. He was the one who had thrown that stone in the water just now. He was now crossing his arms on his chest, laughing while talking to the women in the water, but his eyes would take a glance towards her, from time to time. The women splashed water at him to drive him away, while giggling. The scene was very lively.
Mu Qing had become somewhat used to bathing together with the women here, but that didn’t mean that she could get used to joke and laugh with a man while her body was naked, like they were. She turned her head and buried herself in the water.
Mu Qing listened to Yi Jia and the women in the stream joke for a while, and when the noise gradually faded, she saw that he had finally left when she looked back. She took a light breath of relief.
This man seemed to be the most handsome one in this settlement, but Mu Qing had no good feeling towards him. She didn’t know whether or not it was because of that smile he had showed her when he found her hiding behind the bushes, but she still felt uncomfortable whenever she thought about it.
The day was getting dark, the women in succession went back to the shore, put back on their skirts, and left one after another, Mu Qing and Youyou also got back on the shore.
When she reached for the clothes she had left on the stone, Mu Qing froze.
Her underwear was gone.
She remembered very clearly that when she took it off, she put it in the water and scrubbed it before wringing it and leaving it on the stone, beside the rest of her clothes. Now the clothes were still there, but her underwear was gone, leaving only a light puddle of water on the stone.
Her first thought was that one of the women who were bathing in the stream just now had taken it by mistake, but she quickly dismissed that thought. The women here didn’t have the habit of wearing underwear, and except for Naonao and that woman who had supervised her bath when she first arrived and was still a little hostile to her, all the other women were friendly to her and would not have taken her underwear that was useless to them.
She shook her clothes and pants again, but still couldn’t find it.
She then thought of Yi Jia. Just before, he seemed to have been standing not far from here. Could it be that he had taken it when no one was looking?
Mu Qing could not be completely sure, but this was a possibility. But if he really was the one who took it, what exactly was his purpose in doing so?
Translator : Laura
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