Chapter 17: Thieves in the Night (2)
While Lin Xin advised him to be cautious, Zhao Qiang’s mind had already wandered to that that tempting pot of rice. He opened the lid only to find a few leftovers. Zhao Qiang reached in and grabbed a handful of rice which he proceeded to knead into a ball. He then took another scoop and kneaded it into another rice ball.
After preparing two servings, Zhao Qiang prepared to leave. But when he remembered Lin Xin who stood beside him, the boy opened the lid once again to prepare another ball of rice.
At this time, one of his brothers who kept guard by the door anxiously shouted, “Zhao Qiang, the Dean is heading this way, I’ll be leaving first.”
Zhao Qiang stood stunned at the sudden news, and suddenly lost the courage to quickly lock up the door. What should I do? What should I do? Meanwhile, the boy who swore loyalty to him fled at the critical moment.
“Quick, let’s hide!” Lin Xin snapped him out of his stupor as she whispered to him urgently. The girl looked around for shelter before finding a cabinet just opposite from the stove. It was the only place to hide although it was right across the entrance.
Lin Xin pulled Zhao Qiang into the back of the cabinet with her. In order to fit into this tight space, the boy bowed down low while Lin Xin squatted underneath his half bowed, sweaty body. The cabinet’s size wasn’t wide enough to safely hide two people.
But since this was their only option, Lin Xin could only silently pray in her heart..the Dean can’t see it, the Dean can’t see it, he definitely won’t see it.
A questioning voice rang through the door, saying, “Hey, how could Aunt Zhang forget to lock the door? Xinyu, wait right here. There should be some food left in the pot. I’ll go get it for you.”
After hearing the Dean’s voice, Lin Xin inwardly screamed in panic. If he comes into the kitchen, they were sure to be exposed. Rather than being caught by him, she might as well jump out and turn herself in. Right when she was about to come out of her hiding place, a younger voice sounded through the door.
“Dean, I’ll do it myself.” There was a rush of footsteps entering the kitchen. When Lin Xinyu arrived, he glanced at the spot where Lin Xin and Zhao Qiang hid, just two meters away from him. A slight astonishment flashed through his eyes.
He hurriedly grabbed a handful of rice from the pot and quickly kneaded it into a ball. At this time, the Dean entered the kitchen while Lin Xin and Zhao Qiang held their breaths, not daring to make a sound.
“Oh, there’s only this much for tonight’s meal?” the Dean sighed. “Let me see if there are any other leftovers.” When he was about to turn towards the cabinet behind him to check for any remaining food, Lin Xin immediately hugged his waist.
The frail boy wasn’t very tall; he was only up to the Dean’s chest. A pair of small arms tightly hugged the Dean. The hastily made riceballs in the boy’s hands squeezed through his fingers, and a few grains of rice fell on the ground to waste.
“Oh, what’s the matter with you today?” The Dean’s soft, deep voice seemed to stab through Lin Xin’s throat like a knife. She covered her mouth, not daring to breathe.
The Dean stroked Lin Xinyu’s back as if he were touching his lover. Lin Xinyu carefully peaked from the side and looked at Lin Xin with a pair of bright and clear eyes. His eyes curved upwards like half-crescents as he smiled sadly at Lin Xin. Then he said to the Dean, “It’s so dark here, I’m afraid.”
“Alright, let’s go.”
The man put his hand intimately on Lin Xinyu’s shoulder and looked back slightly before closing the door securely.
“Dean, let’s go,” Lin Xinyu urgently pled.
“Don’t be anxious, I need to lock the gate. If Ms. Zhang gets careless again, I’ll make sure to deduct her wages.”