Chapter 90: Acrobat 7
“Xinxing, I thought about it all night. Let’s call the police.”
The next day when Gu Xinxing was about to go to the open area not far from Jiang Liu’s practice field, one of her companions suddenly stopped her.
“Yes, let’s call the police and asked them to make it clear. Otherwise, if the other party is a child abuser, will he hurt us?”
What the companion said was unanimously approved by everyone.
Gu Xinxing thought for a while before putting down her camera, assented to her companion’s suggestion.
Because the nearest public security bureau was far away from Shi’ao Village, and the mountain road was also steep, the police still had to drive the car very carefully up the mountain. Even if this is a mountain road that has been briefly repaired, it still took them about an hour, before they arrived in a hurry.
Gu Xinxing, who had been waiting for a long time, was already a little bit impatient. She felt that the speed of the police here would not help the poor children at all.
It was just that since the police had finally come, she still patiently told the police what she saw yesterday, and asked them to rescue the children and punish the scum.
Why are the police here?”
“Isn’t it that little girl who called the police? Why is she so eager to make trouble for others, ah?”
The villagers were showing their dissatisfaction as they walked out of the house when they heard the noise. They looked at a few young men in police uniforms, as well as Gu Xinxing and others who followed these police officers from behind.
Of course, they guessed that these policemen were found by Gu Xinxing and others for what happened yesterday.
When Gu Xinxing heard those people gossiping about her, she couldn’t help but feel a bit wrong. She was even angrier because of these words.
“Comrade police, look, that’s the man!”
When Gu Xinxing brought the police over, Xiao Binbin and others had already started to practice their basic skills. The most painful and difficult bone setting process had already passed for more than an hour while she was waiting for the police to arrive.
In the ear of the police, she described what she had seen yesterday, and pointed to Jiang Liu once again, indicating that this was the paedophile that she had reported.
“Where is the village chief?”
The middle-aged police, who headed the team asked the villagers nearby. This kind of closed village was different from other places. To handle the case, you still have to find the authoritative elder, especially when they come to deal with child abuse. In this case, more testimony must be collected, and the village chief must also join the investigation so that they can understand the situation better.
“I am here!”
When Gu Xinxing brought the police over, someone had already run to notify the village chief. So after the middle-aged police officer spoke, the old village chief came over on crutches.
“The village chief, can you find an empty house for us? I have to ask some questions.”
The policeman asked the village chief.
“We can go to the Jiang family. His house is big, and the person that you wanted to question was also him.”
The old village chief pointed to the small second-story house not far away. When the police saw that Jiang Liu didn’t object to it, they settled with the suggestion.
Jiang Liu and the old village’s chief followed the police into the house. After a while, the old village’s chief came out and called the three children to come inside. Then the parents of these children, one in and one out, while Gu Xinxing and others who reported the crime were waiting outside the house.
“How about it, Xinxing? Can you hear what they said?”
The girl who raised the alarm asked Gu Xinxing, who was paddling her feet and looking into the room through the window.
“I can’t hear anything.”
Gu Xinxing shook her head.
She saw the two policemen sitting on chairs and Jiang Liu sitting opposite the policemen. At first, the policemen looked serious, but she didn’t know what the policeman and the village chief were arguing. The expressions of the two policemen became more relaxed with the naked eyes.
Gu Xinxing bit her lip, instinctively felt that her desire was coming to nothing.
The conversation lasted for nearly half an hour. Gu Xinxing saw the two policemen stand up and even shook hands with the paedophile, which really made her felt sick.
After thinking about it, Gu Xinxing took out the camera and captured the scene.
When the police came out, she acted as if she hadn’t seen or did anything.
“Little girl, we all understand clearly, these are all misunderstandings.”
The older policeman smiled and said, “What you saw yesterday was a child practising Kung Fu exercises. This little brother also came here when he was young. You outsiders may not understand our economic conditions here, and many people can’t even support children. It’s a good thing to be able to learn a skill. When you are young, you still had to suffer a little bit so that you can live a better life when you grow up.”
He has just learned about the situation with the village chief. The children themselves and their elders agreed that there is no coercive nature in regards to these cases, only profit and temptation.
He also learned from the village chief about Jiang Liu and his ancestors’ contribution to the local area.
For example, building mountain roads as well as providing briquettes to the elderly in the village over 60 or those who had incredibly difficult conditions in winter.
According to the village head, Jiang Liu has already approved a piece of land to build a special acrobatics school to cater for children whose family conditions were difficult. Those who are unwilling to study can go here and learn so that they at least will have some skill when they grow up. This is very useful and a good thing for many local families.
“How can this be considered as a bit of hardship? He broke the bones of those children. Don’t their parents feel distressed? Shouldn’t they study hard at this age instead of learning these suffering skills?”
Gu Xinxing can’t understand it at all. If it’s just leg pressure and other basic skills like dancing, she can still understand it, but this skill required breaking one bone and resetting it back. She really can’t imagine that in today’s society, there are still people who need to learn this skill.
“Now the country has implemented a nine-year compulsory education. These children learn from him instead of going to school. Is this also legal?”
Gu Xinxing thought that it would not cost much to go to school. Now that the nine-year compulsory education is universal, there is no need for them to pay much tuition. She asked before that there is an elementary school at the foot of the mountain. It also provides a loving meal at noon. Even for families in difficulty, it is still affordable.
She was afraid that the parents of these children just wanted to squeeze the final value from the children, and have not considered them at all.
The two policemen turned to each other as I look at you, and you look at me.
The nine-year compulsory education was not bad, and the schools in the mountains only charge dozens of yuan a year for tuition and miscellaneous fees. But in this impoverished county, there are too many children who can’t study because of various problems.
Some of them need to take care of their younger brothers and sisters at home. Some did not go to school because of the difficulty of going to school. Not every village was as lucky as Shi’ao Village and had someone as generous as Jiang Sanchun to rebuilt the mountain road.
In this area, many accidents happened to students because of the difficulty of going to school.
The state had been increasing the funding and support for these poverty-stricken areas, yet this is not a matter that can be solved overnight. Now, this little girl takes it for granted that children should study at school with peace of mind, and should grow up happily and healthily. This kind of thinking is genuinely naïve in the eyes of these two policemen.
Just because the country has the goal of achieving an all-round well-off society for the next 20 years, does she think that all families in China are all a well-off family?
In impoverished areas, being poor was no longer an alternative.
The two policemen are locals. They have seen too many sad stories caused by the lack of money.
“These children are under 14 years old. That man’s practice is basically abusing these children. You should arrest him.”
Seeing that the police is not speaking, Gu Xinxing felt that the officer was stumped because of her question. Therefore she immediately turned aggressive. According to laws and regulations, Jiang Liu’s behaviour should have violated the ruling and must be punished by law.
“Girl, let me make it clear. These children had volunteered themselves to follow this practice, and their family also consented it. It’s not necessary for you, an outsider, to make noise about something you don’t understand. Roll-off. I don’t want your dirty money. You all leave Shi’ao Village for me.”
The village’s chief became angry. He had explained to the little girl so many times in a kind-hearted manner, yet she still insisted that the child should go to school.
Who will pay the money for them to study? Who will take care of the families with several children? In her mouth, it was easier said than done. If they have the ability, do you think those elder will hurt the children in their family? Why do you think that so many young people refused to return to this village? Still wanted to make so much noise.
Finally, Jiang Liu was willing to come back and help everyone. If this matter hurt Jiang Liu, who else could they rely on?
It was not like there are no children in this village who did not go to school to study. But the qualification of the teacher at Shanxia School was so poor that those children could not be even qualified to attend the junior high school. What can they do with that kind of academic qualification? Going out to work means that they could only get a job at the factory’s assembly line or doing a bitter work like moving bricks at the construction site.
Occasionally there are a few who can be admitted to college. Yet, how many out of a hundred children can have such an opportunity?
Learning this craft alongside Jiang Liu might be bitter, but in the future, they will be able to enjoy some happiness. As the people of this village, they also have their own judgments.
The old village’s head used his trembled hand and fished out the money from his pocket. He hadn’t yet saved the money that Gu Xinxing and others had given to him yesterday for their food expenses. He hadn’t even counted the cost for their meal yesterday either. So he stuffed the money directly into Gu Xinxing’s hand.
“That’s right, if you don’t understand, don’t stay here. We are poor, so we have to suffer hardship. Don’t dirty your eyes looking at us.”
The other older people in the village followed. Even the few young people who still left in the village made a motion of shooing people away.
While being protected by the two policemen, Gu Xinxing and others hurriedly packed up their things and left in the police car.
At the foot of the mountain, the police persuaded them with few more words. Yet, Gu Xinxing was already being influenced by her emotion.
She has never been wronged like this when she grows up. She didn’t believe that she will not be able to uphold her justice.
“The police have obviously been bought by the man. Such impoverished counties are the kind who is keeping each other’s back. The clan influence is even more rampant than the official. The police would not dare not help us.”
Gu Xinxing handed the photos she took during the day to her few friends. That photo was exactly what she had taken through the window, showing Jiang Liu shook his hand with the police.
“It’s said that barren hills and wild rivers will produce troublesome people. Look at those people today. Without rhyme and reason, they blasted us off. They almost didn’t even let us take anything. I think we should leave it alone. They are happy to watch the children suffer. It is not like they are our relatives; why do we need to take care of others?”
A man in the team said unhappily. This is the first time he was being blasted by others.
“How can I leave it alone? Children are innocent. At their age, they should study hard. Their parents are irresponsible for the sake of money. We should make this matter a big deal and let them be accounted for this.”
Gu Xinxing said firmly.
Those few children who followed Jiang Liu’s exercises were just seven or eight years old. Children at this age don’t understand anything. They said that it was voluntary when it might be their parents who forced them. Otherwise, where will children voluntarily learn this kind of Kung Fu? It is not like they were a masochist.
She felt that although the standard of living here was not good, it was far from the point where the child needs to suffer such a crime.
Yesterday they ate at the village chief’s house. They were served with dried rice mixed with sweet potatoes. There are four dishes altogether. Two of them were meat dishes as well as a half an old hen stewed soup. Gu Xinxing felt that the standard of living in the village was at least adequate.
Yet, how could she know that the village chief prepared this meal because they each gave him 30 yuan for a one-day meal? Otherwise, who would be willing to kill the old hen who laid eggs at home?
However, it was this meal that made Gu Xinxing had an illusion that the locals’ food was good. It made her feel even more unbearable to learn that these heinous feudal dregs acrobatics could persist under this standard of living.
The next day, Gu Xinxing secretly went up the mountain without telling her friends. She also brought along a pack of white rabbit toffee. While the adults in the village were not paying attention, she stopped one of Jiang Liu’s apprentices.[T/N: White rabbit toffee. I had it when I was young lol. But not nowadays… They wrapped it twice, and I remembered eating the inner wrap. Not for vegan. Got pig and cow derivatives ingredient in it.]
“Children, come over, sister will give you sweets.”
Gu Xinxing beckoned Xu Quanjun over. She recognized that this was the child who cried miserably that day.
“You are the bad guy who called the police to catch my master.”
Xu Quanjun also recognized Gu Xinxing.
“These are all misunderstandings; The police didn’t even arrest your master.”
Gu Xinxing smiled at Xu Quanjun while saying that. She then took out a handful of white rabbit toffee and put it in her hand.
Xu Quanjun also ate the white rabbit toffee before. He knew that this candy was expensive and they had to go to the largest supermarket in the county to buy it. Since the master often bought stuff from the town, this kind of candy was not easily available at home.
Xu Quanjun swallowed as he walked over to take the candy.
“Your name is Xu Quanjun, right? What kind of Kung Fu did you practice?”
Gu Xinxing was afraid that the child would have been taught by adults and refused to tell the truth, so instead of asking the questions directly, she chose to go roundabout.
“Bone-shrinking skill. My master is amazing. He has toured around the country and made a lot of money.”
Xu Quanjun ate a piece of candy, then hid the rest so that he can eat it slowly.
“Bone-shrinking skill. Just listening to the name is so amazing!”
Bone reduction? Does this martial art even exist?
This made Gu Xinxing felt that Jiang Liu was a swindler with bad intention.
“Does it hurt to do this exercise?”
Gu Xinxing asked again.
“It hurts; it hurts me to death. But now I am used to it. When I started practising a year ago, I cried for several days, and my throat became hoarse.”
Xu Quanjun told the truth and didn’t realize what was wrong with this answer.
“A year ago, at what age did you start practising?”
Gu Xinxing asked.
“At the age of eight, my senior brother and junior elder brother started practising at the age of six. I am older than them.”
Xu Quanjun said regretfully.
“Since practising is so painful, haven’t you thought of going to school to study well instead?”
Gu Xinxing’s liver felt hurt when she heard that the children already started practising this terrible kind of Kung Fu as early as six years old.
“There is no money at home. Everyone said that if you learn from the master, you will be able to make money in the future. I don’t want to talk to you anymore. I have to practice.”
Xu Quanjun became impatient with the conversation. He licked his lips and waved his hand as he hurriedly walked towards the master’s house.
Gu Xinxing self-consciously connected the information. The children’s learning process was not only due to the low-income family but also under the temptation of the unscrupulous elders and master.
She glanced at the phone that had not stopped shooting. She then once again quietly left the village just like how she came.
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