Chapter 16: Thieves In the Night (1)
It was a night of the new moon and the sky was full of stars, like diamonds paving a luminous road in the sky. It was the most beautiful scene Lin Xin had ever laid her eyes on, and she still remembered this scene from over twenty years ago.
Suddenly, there was a sound of footsteps within the cacophony of insects. Who else could be sneaking out so late?
Lin Xin instinctively hid behind a fifty-centimeter thick pillar, which perfectly hid her malnourished body. She would not be easy to detect in this dark night.
“Tread lightly and don’t make any noise.” The voice clearly resounded from the cafeteria’s direction.
“Ok, yes, the lock has been opened. Don’t move. I’ll go in while you stand watch by the door.”
“Alright, Zhao Qiang, please don’t eat everything by yourself.”
“Rest assured, I, Zhao Qiang, am very loyal.”
So it turned out to be Zhao Qiang. It looks like he and his brothers came to pick the cafeteria lock and steal food. Lin Xin wasn’t the Virgin Mary. Since others were skilled enough to steal, she wouldn’t get in their way, so Lin Xin continued on as if she didn’t notice them. She decided never to mention the matter to anyone.
Lin Xin tiptoed away, intending to return to the dormitory silently. When she had just taken two steps forward, a branch accidentally snapped under her foot, causing a light ‘snap.’ Fortunately it wasn’t very loud, so Lin Xin patted her chest as she sighed with relief.
“Who?!” Under the peaceful moonlight, Zhao Qiang’s voice pierced through the air like a sword, cutting off the calmness of water.
Lin Xin’s heart screamed in annoyance; she hated the fact that his hearing was too good. Previously, he was able to quickly recognize her voice when she only spoke a few words. This time, he was still able to hear her light misstep–just how long did his ears grow to be able to detect such a faint sound?
Now that she was discovered, Lin Xin came out of her hiding place.
She turned and stood quietly in the moonlight like still water. Lin Xin calmly looked at Zhao Qiang and his fellow thieves.
“I was only passing by. You can continue on with your business.”
The moonlight added a chilliness to her visage. Her whole figure was coated with a layer of moonlight, adding a bit of celestial charm to her aura. It made people overlook her ordinary appearance.
Zhao Qiang snapped out of his daze and glared at her with a threatening face. “If you’re lying, just wait for me to beat you up.”
“Rest assured, what you do is none of my business.” Lin Xin waved at them to leave and said, “You go on, I’ll go back to sleep.”
Zhao Qiang didn’t think this matter was resolved. He spoke his doubts and said, “I don’t believe that you won’t go back and tattletale on us.”
Lin Xin rolled her eyes. Who would have the leisure to mess with him when it’s already the middle of the night? She laughed and said, “Well, it’s up to you whether you believe it or not.”
Seeing Lin Xin’s look of disgust, Zhao Qiang somewhat believed her words. But in order for him to completely feel at ease, he simply pulled her by the arm and dragged her to the cafeteria to steal food. That way, he could drag her down to the water with him if she dares to report them.
Lin Xin didn’t expect that a boy like Zhao Qiang who didn’t have contact with the outside world, could actually come up with such a good trick like this. Before she knew it, she had become an accomplice in this robbery. Lin Xin couldn’t wait to jump into the Yellow River [note] Yellow River: Chinese mystical place for the underworld [/note] from embarrassment.
Compared to Zhao Qiang, she lacked height and physical strength. If she struggled, they would only end up waking people in the orphanage, so there was no reason for her to reject them.
Instead of escaping, it was better to join them.
After thinking things through, Lin Xin joined Zhao Qiang without a struggle and snuck in with him into the cafeteria. Once inside, she stood firm and advised him, “Don’t take too much food. Taking a large amount will make it easier for us to get caught.”
Actually, there was nothing much to eat in the cafeteria except for the leftover rice from their dinner. For a growing child as large as Zhao Qiang, his three bowls of rice per day could actually be consumed by him in just one meal. Such a meager amount of rice everyday would leave him hungry at night, causing him to wake up at midnight from time to time.
After fiddling with wires to learn how to unlock a bolt for half a month, Zhao Qiang finally found some success today. But before he could utilize his lock-picking skills at his midnight thievery, he unexpectedly ran into Lin Xin.