In the moonlight, Jiang Zhen found out that in the cabin . . . two naked women were lying inside! The two women’s hands were tied and their mouths were probably stuffed with something. They could only make some intermittent sobs. These two women were definitely not the wives of the water bandits. They were probably kidnapped by those water bandits, and locked inside the cabin, to serve as tools to relieve their desires.
Seeing the quilt next to him, Jiang Zhen directly covered them and then cut the ropes on their wrists. He also found two candles to light up, which allowed him to see the appearance of the two women.
One of them was a bit older. He estimated her to be in her late twenties. The other one was a bit younger, twenty years old at most. In fact, both of them were very average-looking, but they were not bad for the countryside.
The two women grabbed the quilt Jiang Zhen gave them, took out the cloth in their mouths with an “ach,” and finally burst into tears.
“Where are you from? Why are you on this ship?” Jiang Zhen asked.
The two women were still crying, but after a while, the older one finally said, “My lord, I am from a nearby village. I was kidnaped when I came to visit my relatives . . . ” As she spoke, she started crying again.
The other woman was still crying. Then the woman continued, “This girl beside me was originally engaged in a small business with her husband. Later, they were robbed and her husband was thrown in the river . . .” She was taken earlier, and before, they would let her cook and wash clothes. As for why they looked like that today, it was because they tried to run away and got caught.
“When you die, there is nothing left. The ones hurting the most are your parents and relatives.” Jiang Zhen looked at the woman who had not spoken all this time. There was something wrong with this person’s state of mind. Jiang Zhen was really afraid that she would commit suicide.
He couldn’t enlighten people . . . In fact, he felt that it was not the women’s fault that they met this kind of misfortune. But obviously, others would not think so, and even these women themselves would not think so.
“I have children at home. I don’t want to die,” the older woman said, and let the other woman talk.
“Clean up.” Jiang Zhen breathed a sigh of relief and left the cabin.
“What shall we do now?” Wang Haisheng asked, seeing Jiang Zhen come out, and looked at the cabin with a complex look. As soon as he went in, he was startled, and then he ran out in a hurry. He dared not look at the two women inside at all, but Jiang Zhen stayed inside for a while. This . . . Jiang Zhen has Zhao Jinge. Isn’t that bad?
“We’ll talk about it tomorrow morning,” Jiang Zhen said, then took out a knife and walked to the leader of the bandits. He knew a thing or two about extorting confessions by torture.
After learning that these water bandits had killed people, Jiang Zhen showed them no mercy. He naturally extracted information about different parts when he tortured them, which could be regarded as digging up the full background of these water bandits.
These water bandits had a nest, but most of the money they snatched from others was carried with them and left on their boat. According to what they confessed, Jiang Zhen finally found more than two hundred silver and some copper pennies, as well as jewelry in the two ships.
When Jiang Zhen left the Jiang family house, he had thirty-seven silver on his hands. He spent some, and gave twenty to Wang Haisheng, which left him with a little more than ten silver. It was Zhao Jinge who gave him some money, so he could gather about twenty silver as his initial capital.
Later, he made some money and used some of it to give a dowry of ten silver to the Zhao family. Now, if he included the merchandise on the board, the total amount was only about sixty silver. Of course, if he could sell all the goods and sell them for a fair price, there would be about seventy–eighty silver.
He had been struggling for so long that he couldn’t even get a good night’s sleep, but he still had so little silver. Now he just spent one night robbing several water bandits, and all of a sudden, he got more than two hundred silver. If he went back and bought land with this money, he could buy paddy fields and another two mu of dryland, then he would never have to worry about going hungry again . . . Of course, he didn’t intend to spend all his money on land.
Jiang Zhen moved the heavy silver to his boat and went to see the two women. “What are you going to do now?”
“We’re leaving,” the older woman said to Jiang Zhen. She was grateful to him for saving her, but she was also a bit afraid of him. She feared that she would be imprisoned again, so she wanted to leave quickly.
In fact, Jiang Zhen would like them to leave soon too. He and Wang Haisheng both had families, so it was not good to keep these two women with them.
“Alright.” Jiang Zhen nodded and threw a bag of things to them. “This is for you.”
These water bandits had a lot of jewelry on their hands. He didn’t want these things, and it was troublesome to deal with them, so he simply gave them to the two women . . . After all, it was them who had suffered. The two women’s clothes were still on the ship. When they got dressed, they helped each other and left in the night.
Jiang Zhen looked at the sky and said to Wang Haisheng, “Let’s send these people to the yamen.”
It was best to send these people to the yamen. Of course, he would not do it in person. After all, compared to these miserable-looking people, he himself looked more like a robber at the moment. But he could send them to town and leave a note, couldn’t he?
Edited by : Faro